The first time that I visited El Corte was December of 1999. It was midday, Friday before the first Saturday of the month when there would be an international milonga. I had Zeynep and Selim with me. We were excited to see the famous El Corte. We went inside and it was totally empty. There was only one guy resting inside. I said I wanted to see the dance floor and he opened the curtains of the inside dance salon and it looked so nice to me. But I could never imagine that it would make me filled with intense feeling of peace, love and positivism later on.
I had a wonderful milonga on Saturday night with so many people that I have not seen before. When I was going back to my country I was sure that I would go there again. And I did. To the international week. This is the time when I felt that something in El Corte was very strongly taking half of my heart.
I had an incredible week and I felt as if I would never go back to Istanbul. But the day came. When I was going back home, it was so so hard for me and I was no longer sure where I belonged to. I was totally lost about where I wanted to be and who I wanted to be. I felt as if I was leaving a piece of me behind.
It was late at night when I arrived to my apartment in Istanbul. I stood in front of the building and asked myself where my home was. I did not feel that my home was my home any longer. I was feeling that I left my heart and home in Nijmegen and began to wait for the time that I will go back to my lovely home. I feel homesick.