While in Ankara I had the opportunity to experience two cool things in one location – a toy library.
I was brought to the library by my Turkish couchsurfing host. I had never heard of a toy library before, but was told it actually started in the U.S. It immediately made sense to me. Kids have short attention spans, so why not rent toys? And how great is it to donate used toys to such a place instead of throwing them away as kids get older!
I think the library works on a subscription model, but I didn’t ask much about the details. I was too captivated by what a good idea it was. 🙂
I went to the toy library because my host attends English conversation meetups in Ankara. She is fully fluent in English and is almost done with her PhD in English literature. But there is always room to grow and she likes meeting new people. I do too!
There was another native-English speaker there from Zimbabwe. He came to Turkey six years earlier to start his university education. Though his courses have been in English, it’s been an uphill battle learning the language and learning how to call a place home that is so different from his home. But it’s a battle he’s won and he’s quite happy living in Turkey even if the winters are far harsher than the ones back in Zimbabwe!
Otherwise, there were many university students who came to practice their English and a Polish immigrant who came to Turkey to be with his Turkish girlfriend.
In all, four continents were represented (North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia) in the room. It wasn’t difficult to keep the conversation flowing despite our very different backgrounds. It wasn’t lost on me how precious these moments would be given that I had a known end date for The Happy Nomad Tour at this point. But in the meantime, I just focused on enjoying the moment.