Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Roommate Profile: Abby

The second roommate profile is Abby's. She went to Princeton and graduated with me this past spring. I think she's pretty cool but one thing you should know about her is that she is late quite often. She just moves more slowly than the rest of us. She takes her like 5 minutes to put on her shoes - no lie. I factor in "Abby shoe time" when I am planning when we should leave the house. This is my subtle way of explaining why the blog post is appearing early Tuesday morning instead of Monday night.

What's your name?
Abigail Bowman

How old are you?

Where are you from?
Born and raised in Iowa

When was the first time you came to Turkey?
I wrote a paper about Atatürk when I was in 7th grade for the National History Day competition. That paper completely changed my life. After winning at the State level, I went to Washington, DC and met with the Turkish ambassador. Later, when I was 14, the Atatürk Society of America sent me by myself to Turkey for a week to stay with families in Ankara and Istanbul and see for myself the results of Atatürk's reforms. I'll never forget that first trip.

How did you end up in Istanbul this time?
I got a Fulbright to come back to Istanbul for the year, and there's really nowhere I'd rather be for a while.

What are you doing?
I'm translating Murathan Mungan and other modern Turkish authors into English. For fun, I'm playing a TON of strategy board games and also writing my own interactive fiction piece.

What is the best meal you've had in Istanbul?
Fried zucchini sandwich, in our own kitchen. I live with a cooking god.

What's your favorite neighborhood in the city?
Kadıköy is my new favorite neighborhood. I'm excited to get to know it better. Arnavutköy will always feel like home to me though.

What's your greatest guilty pleasure?
Raw cookie dough...except I don't actually feel guilty about it.

Who is your mortal enemy?

What are you plans for 2012?
Get into grad school, find a good summer job somewhere, and go travelling around Turkey. I've never been east of Ankara, I have a lot of places to see.

What's the most dangerous thing you've ever done?
Exploring the steam tunnels below Princeton.

In 25 years, you will be...
hopefully in a real job. I'd like to have published a book by then.

What is the thing you most want your friends to see when they visit?
Of course I want them to see the mosques and museums, but most of all I want them to see the best parts of my everyday life: my home and my friends, my favorite mantı restaurant, my favorite waffle stand, and my own little stretch of the Bosphorus.

What does your family think about you living in Turkey?
They are 100% supportive; my love of travel definitely runs in the family. My mom and sister have visited me here already, and my dad will hopefully come this year.

What's your favorite Turkish dessert?
Since waffles aren't really Turkish, I'll have to say künefe.

Turkish coffee or tea?
I typed out five different answers to this question before settling on "Both."

How long will you stay in Istanbul?
At least three years, to finish my Fulbright and then complete a Master's here in Ottoman and Turkish history. After that, who knows--but even if I leave, I know I'll be back.

In three words, how would you describe Istanbul?
İstanbullulaştıramadıklarımızdanmışsınızcasına konuşma lan. (Don't talk as if you're one of the ones we weren't able to turn into Istanbul dwellers, buddy.)

Anything else we should know?
This post is 100% free of Kati's blogulant lies.


  1. I want to go to the favorite manti restaurant!

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  3. "İstanbullulaştıramadıklarımızdanmışsınızcasına konuşma lan." My eyes are wet.

  4. I'm so excited that Abby competed in National History Day! If I had only known about it sooner, it would be part of your legacy, too, Kati. (and I also am very curious about what Berker said that you deleted...)