Yesterday I went on a job interview. I took the metro to Levent and it was so fast I had some time to take a quick look around the mall it dumped me into and to have a coffee at the Starbucks there. Starbucks was packed and I'm not sure but I think the seating inside the store was for non-smokers and the seating outside was for smokers. I sat with the smokers because I wanted to look around at the mall and the passing people. This mall seems even nicer than the one I went to last week and I think I will come here to shop for the clothes I need to round out my wardrobe since I didn't bring much with me.
I headed off to my interview down the highway, climbing through a construction site with the other pedestrians and crossing some scary, busy highways. Finally I found the school. It's really nice and occupies several stories of a small building. I think the interview went well and that they are really interested in me and I am excited about this job. This school seems much more like a well-though-out business than some of the others I've been in touch with. They don't seem like they just want to keep shuffling students and teachers through the same boring routine. They've given some thought to developing and expanding their business. They work mostly with corporate clients, often tailoring the classes to the needs of a specific company, but they also have open classes. Classes run for 6 months so there would be some stability to my schedule. They offer full insurance, free Turkish lessons, and help with work and residency permits and the pay is the highest I've heard of so far. I would get a monthly salary, not one of those hourly-we'll-pay-you-when-and-if-the-students-show-up schemes.
They are interested in my coaching and business experience because they want to expand into coaching and mentoring their business clients. Apparently now those clients pay a fortune to bring consultants in and the school would like to fill that need since they are already in the door and teaching business English for the most part. As with the other schools I've spoken to they ask me where I'm living so that they can try and place me somewhere that will be convenient for me. It turns out they have a medium-sized school in Bakirkoy which would have been a little far out if I was staying in Cihangir, but it should be convenient for Sultanahmet. Of course I will probably have to master another form of transportation-bus or maybe train. I tell my interviewer I'm working my way through the public transportation methods but so far only know the metro, tram, and of course, taxi. He laughs and says he did an activity in one of his classes where they counted up the modes of transportation in Istanbul and got up to 20!
We have an interesting discussion about the Turkish business culture and the culture of schools, schoolwork, and training in Turkey.
I'm really excited about this job, it just feels better than the others. I will probably be working evenings which is fine, and will have at least two full days off, possibly weekends, possibly during the week. Either way is fine for me. That will leave my days free for Turkish lessons, art, photography, writing, whatever I want to do. I'm very tempted by Musa's weaving lessons and those are Tuesday and Thursday mornings. I can finally see my days starting to shape up.
I take the metro back and head over to Sultanahmet to tell Musa I'm going to take the apartment. He is happy, I am happy, everybody is happy except Galip who I think is a little perturbed that I'm getting the top floor although I don't think he's holding it against me personally. He tells me the downside is that I have to climb four flights and I tell him that after two weeks scaling Cihangir those flights are NOTHING. They laugh because they know what I'm talking about.
As soon as I walked in Musa told me his friend Tania wanted to talk to me and he dialed her up and put her on the phone. He wasn't sure why, he thought she might have some job prospects for me. It turns out she doesn't, she just wanted to “meet” me and find out what I'm doing and how she could help. Her husband is the headmaster of a very well-known and respected private school. I think it's kind of like a prep school and because it's difficult to get into the good Turkish colleges, good private high schools are a big deal here.
We chat and she tells me about an American Women's group I haven't heard of so she promises to send me some information and she also mentions her friend who runs a book exchange which I just read about in TimeOut. I'm sure I'll meet Tania eventually, probably next week. Musa tells me I can move in tonight (!) if I want. He is asking me to pay for the place starting in September but since it's empty he says I can move in anytime. He stresses that he's not my landlord, only friends live here and it's like a community. I tell him that's why I decided to move in before I even got home the night he showed me the place! Even though I've paid for Vivian's place through September 5th I see no reason to wait it out there. I might as well move this weekend, before I start working, and get settled and start exploring my new neighborhood while I have lots of time.