Truths about Andy and Stephanie:
1. We have lived in a capital city before. Granted, not of a country, but of a state.
2. We have lived in an apartment for our entire marriage.
Despite the two truths above, nothing has really prepared us for the style of apartment living here in the capital city, Ankara.
When you enter a building in Ankara, be it a mall or apartment building, you enter at level zero. When you got up one flight of stairs, then you are on level 1. Consequently, when you go down a flight of stairs from level zero, you end up on level -1. When we enter our apartment building, we go down two flights of stairs, meaning we are on level -2. As seen in pictures, we live on a fairly steep hill, so despite being on level -2, our balconies are still high up and we have a good view of the city. It goes without saying the higher up you are, the more money you have. You pay for the view.
The apartment buildings here are gorgeous, covered in mosaic pictures made from thousands of tiny tiles. It really seems like the people with money live in apartments whereas houses are sparse and a bit rundown.
Marble in Turkey is really cheap so most apartment staircases I’ve seen are made of marble. It’s beautiful but when it comes to cleaning, the kapıcı (an apartment manager) takes a hose, starts at the bottom and works his way up. Without knowing what was happening, I thought there had been a huge water leak in our apartment. The other day, I opened the door and it appeared to be raining inside the building. The kapıcı will then squeegee the water back down the stairs. A word to the wise – marble is very slick when wet.
The last note for our apartment building is that gas and water are both pay-as-you-go. If you don’t keep a close eye on credits, then you will suddenly find yourself in a cold shower. Brr…
(I have a video walk-through of our apartment but have had issues uploading it. Coming soon!)