SNOWstanbul

Fun Facts:

  • We had SEVEN snow days this year.
  • We don’t have to make ANY of them up!

And thank goodness for that, because we are already scheduled until June 19th. Any longer than that and I would have a serious meltdown.

It’s not unusual to have a snow day back home, but we’ve always had to make up any missed days at the end of the school year. Since we are a one-to-one [computer] school, we just post work for the students on our class sites and call the school day done! It’s marvelous.

The mayor of Istanbul called most of our snow days. The students started referring to him as the Snow God. Our school closed a couple more days independently of the city due to the distance many of our students [and staff] have to travel.

What qualified as a snow day here would have NEVER flown in the Chicago suburbs. Our first snow day, if I remember correctly, was called the night before when a single snowflake had not fallen yet. We closed in anticipation of the “Siberian Winter” that the weather channels were predicting. I woke up the next morning and laughed so hard. There was NOTHING on the ground and yet I got a day off. Rumor has it that the Asian side of Istanbul was hit hard though, and if the mayor closes all Istanbul schools, that means all schools on both sides of the Bosphorus.

2015-01-06 09.21.59 2015-01-06 14.20.05

So on our No-Snow-Snow-Day, I went to the gym, grocery shopped, and bonded with my cat. I posted these pictures to Facebook and my little sister, wordsmith that she is, replied, “Well, that’s some Istanbullshit right there.”

One night, it started to thunderhail. It was EPIC!… But we didn’t get a snow day…

2015-02-02 20.36.08

Other snow days, however, were different. Istanbul was covered in snow. Being from Chicago, I thought, “This is NOTHING,” and continued to gallivant around my neighborhood to take pictures…

2015-02-18 08.47.01 Cihangir Square (left) & My Apartment (right) DSC_0185

But you see, Chicago doesn’t have any hills… And there aren’t any stairs connecting different sections of the neighborhoods… So naturally, at one point, I thought I could walk down these stairs…

DSC_0419

No joke, I think I was on these stairs for half an hour…

That’s when I decided it was best that we didn’t have school. Istanbul has no equipment whatsoever to remove the snow. No trucks, no salt. Nothing. That fluffy pile of white just sits in the streets until it melts away. It was a mess to walk in (I ruined my only pair of boots), and watching the drivers was a nightmare.

The week before our February break, we went to school on Monday and then on our way to school on Tuesday, it looked like this:

2015-02-17 07.16.52

Then the snow started to fall…

Call it Jane I still can’t believe these pictures were taken on the same day.

…And then it was announced that we would be leaving early that day so that we could get everyone home before the roads became dangerous.

That announcement prompted this only mildly embarrassing dance video in my classroom…Only mildly until I saw one of my students watching me at the door… Then I was horrified. Now, I share it with the world! 🙂

I was REALLY happy to go home early. We all were. And we didn’t go back to school for the remainder of that week. It. Was. Magical.

We all went to our favorite pub when we got back to Taksim and the snow looked like this:

2015-02-17 15.53.13 WHAT SNOW LOOKS LIKE THAT?!

Anyway, here are some pictures of the Istanbul sights that everyone wants to see covered in snow:

DSC_0805 DSC_0473 DSC_0679DSC_0436 DSC_0637

The Blue Mosque

DSC_0460 DSC_0498 Hippodrome

DSC_0705 Hagia Sophia

DSC_0886 DSC_0319 DSC_0326

The Bosphorus

DSC_0823 A Random Sultanahmet Building

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