I'm an American who has lived in Anatolian Istanbul for 3 1/2 years with my Turkish husband. I used to have a lot of friends back when I taught English, but they have all since moved back to America. Since then, I have been telecommuting online for an American company, so I don't have any chance to meet anybody through work. The saving grace for living in Anatolian Istanbul is our local Halk Egitim Merkezi--I love having access to their great classes and metal shop.
I just found out we'll be moving to Bursa later this year for my husband's job. We've never been to Bursa, and only know it from Wikipedia. We looked for rental places online, and found we could rent a "villa" in a place called Mudanya for the same price as our Istanbul apartment rental. This would likely be great for our dog. But I have no idea what the lifestyle there would be like. It seems it would be very lonely, far from any shops, "Halk Egitim Merkezi" classes, etc. I'd love to hear from somebody who lives in a middle-class (NOT ritzy) Turkish villa neighborhood outside Bursa, particularly Mudanya. What do you do for fun? Do you know your neighbors? Do you have to drive everywhere? Are there Carrefours and movie theaters nearby, or do you have to drive to Bursa for everything?
What is the treatment of dogs like? In our part of Istanbul (Kadikoy), everybody feeds the street animals. In one of the MyMerhaba interviews, a Bursa-living respondent reported that she didn't like "people throwing stones at street dogs and hearing them yelp." I've never seen this happen in our section of Istanbul. Is it a common occurence in Bursa?!
Any recommendations for places that have a lot of hobby-type activities? I'm especially interested in being close to affordable, decent horse-back riding classes.
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