When we arrived in Alanya in September, for our study-abroad program, our program manager let us know that the police had been informed of our presence in Alanya, and that they would be following us as a security precaution. There was shock and outrage among the studentry–how could our professors think that we were incapable of taking care of ourselves and treat us as if we were some kind of liability to Georgetown University? The nerve! A week later everyone forgot about the issue.
September, October, and November rolled by. One day in early December, my friend MR and I emerged from the forest shortcut on the way to school. A car was parked on the side of the road, two police officers sitting inside.
“Are you Americans?” they asked. We nodded.
“We were looking for you, come here.” MR and I exchanged a glance, each of us mentally compiling a list of all the reasons the local police would possibly be in search of us. There were many. We were doomed, but accepted our fate and approached the car with dignity. Alanya would be a nice place to be in jail.
“Merhaba. We were looking for you because we heard that there is an American school here. We have been trying to find it. So where are you from? Amerika? Which city?”
Three months later, here were our controversial security guards, only half cognizant of their actual role and as chatty as any local Alanyan. We breathed a sigh of relief.