The airport terminal is always a hot bed of entertainment (I don’t get out much). As the meeting point and cross sections of cultures, it is where those both coming and going come to … well, get pissed off. No one enjoys airport travel. There are those who “don’t mind it” or handle it with ease. But show me one person who says, “Gosh, oh golly! This full-body security search is so fun!” and I will first tell him to ease up on the “Nick at Nite” reruns and then recommend to him an excellent therapist. So where do I find the entertainment, you ask? Well in this particular moment, I’m finding it endlessly enjoyable to watch six little birds and one abnormally large pigeon fly around the terminal. No, I am in fact not in one of those outdoor boarding gates that exist nowhere. I’m inside, and crossing my fingers that the pigeon decides to defecate a little closer to the little man across the aisle who is giggling to himself a little too much for my comfort. But even more than the birds, I find it especially entertaining to watch the people. As I sit several seats removed from the closest person, with headphones on and a look on my face that hopefully says, “Please don’t talk to me. I’m scared of you and have terrible social skills,” I pay close attention to my fellow fliers. So here at JFK’s Gate 3, patiently waiting for Delta Flight 072 to Istanbul while listening to Beyoncé (because what screams Istanbul like “Single Ladies”?), I have begun to think … is my outfit OK? As the saying goes, “the clothes make the man.” In this case, however, I will amend the phrase to “the clothes make the awkward American tourist more noticeable.” I stressed over this during the shopping extravaganza that took place during the week and a half prior to my departure. I needed the basics: a pair or two of new jeans, comfortable walking shoes, warm-weather clothing for the spring months and the necessary travel accessories. Yet shopping with my mother is a never-ending battle between the practical and the fashionable. I am, of course, the fashionable.* That pair of jeans with the expandable and awkwardly set waist: practical? Sure. Comfortable? Without a doubt. Cute? Not since 1963. After my extensive research (read: Facebook stalking) of the Turkish culture I’ve gotten a fair grasp on what I’m in for. The girls are hip, yet effortlessly dressed. While wearing simple, white, fitted T-shirts with something casual and high-waisted, women are able to throw on elaborately patterned scarves and look like they’re ready to dine with royalty (if that’s what they’re into). You say this sounds simple? Not something totally out of the ordinary in the good old U.S. of A.? Ha! Oh, my sweet naive reader. You are either a male (thank you for reading) or a female who is an incredibly talented dresser (regular emails with dressing tips are encouraged). The point is, within my 51-pound checked suitcase are my only tools for fashion success. Now please, don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not operating under the superficial idea that my appearance will be the most important part of the next six months. If you are someone who has already undergone the study abroad experience, and can look me in the eye and tell me you were not at least a little concerned about how your wardrobe would stand up in your chosen country, then I call malarkey. You cared. A lot. I’m going up against the best of the best here, Turkey’s finest. Not to mention the slew of other exchange students coming from fashionably hip European countries! So play it cool, Meagan. Ease your way into the scene. Unassumingly rock the fitted jeans with noticeably sophisticated tops. Then burst out onto the scene with skirts that make your booty look rockin.’ I mean … beautifully elegant outfits for casual nights out on the town. Looking around the terminal now, I’m put at ease. I am not intimidated by the styles of any of the passengers here, except for that chick with the red combat boots and the tight black jeans. Whatever. If the Turkish 4-year-old with the same haircut as me is any indication, I’ll be just fine. *Note to my mother: You are extraordinarily fashionable and put all the other women in your tennis club to shame. You are also, of course, painfully practical. It’s your gift. Also, your hair looks 100 percent natural.   Meagan Kelly is a junior in the CollegeShe can be reached at [email protected]. GRANDMA GOES TO TURKEY appears every other Friday in the guide.

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