Last Saturday I got up on the morning and the world tilted around me. I got up and had to hold onto the door handle to steady myself. I felt like I had drunk half, or maybe a whole bottle of something strong. I had never experienced anything like that before so I was a bit scared. At first we blamed it on heat exhaustion as it had been quite hot (+36C was the highest point) and I hadn’t drunk enough water the day before, so Mike parked me in bed and brought me lots of water. As the day progressed, the vertigo wouldn’t go away and moved around slowly and carefully, but even then I kept grabbing onto things around me. Some time in the afternoon we decided that we should probably cancel the plans we had made with our new local friends we met through Couchsurfing.org. This was really disappointing as we had been looking forward to meeting them in person and just hanging out, but we made arrangements to have lunch the following day instead.
I woke up on Sunday morning still feeling vertigo-ey, but we decided to go anyway, as lying in bed and watching the ceiling spin was getting old fast. Besides, it turned out walking grounded me and by the time we got off at (the wrong) bus stop, I was feeling just fine. In addition, while we were standing on the bus stop somehow we started chatting with a Turkish girl called Fatosh and the effort of trying to understand her made me sort of forget I wasn`t feeling well. I think we need to resume our Turkish lessons ASAP, because while Mike and I can make short sentences in Turkish and generally make ourselves understood, we don`t really understand much of what is being said back to us.
So anyway, we got off at the wrong bus stop, then walked for ages in the wrong directions and then waited as our hosts found us and walked us to their home. L. works at a large university here in Kayseri and they live on campus (which is absolutely giant!) in a special housing unit for foreign teachers. The grounds are quite beautiful, although the grass is kept green by daily watering – not much green grass here in the desert that is Anatolia.
In the end, our lunch lasted for more than 4 hours. L. and her husband A. are such lovely and interesting people that we simply didn`t notice the time pass. And the lunch itself… that grilled trout was the best fish I have ever eaten (aside from smoked sturgeon).
What else did we do this week? Not much. Mike is still busy with work, I am still busy with my translation, and in addition, I was incapacitated with vertigo for half a week. I got in touch with my lovely student Svetlana who is an ENT doctor and has generously offered her consulting services by email and she told me which meds to take. Sedef, Mike’s department secretary and all around angel has heard of my problem and found the medicine through her cousin the pharmacists, who in addition to being a lovely lady speaks some English so this time I didn`t have to mime anything (unlike the time I had to cough, choke and sniff to get cold meds for Mike). We are still waiting for our insurance to go through so I haven’t been to see a doctor but the meds and balancing exercises seem to help and now I am (knock on wood if you are a superstitious Russian) almost back to normal. I am still not sure what caused it – maybe the altitude (we are just over 1000 meters above the sea level), or flying with a cold, or something else.
P.S. On the way home on Sunday I saw a puppy and got to pet it. Very proud of myself for showing restraint and not picking it up and slipping it into my bag.