Everyone’s individual quarantine experience is unique! Aybüke Pusat considers these days, which is a little more “idyllic” than most of us, a period of renewal. In Izmir, to where she went by leaving all the nuances she wanted to reset in her life, she wants to pass this time, in which she is all alone with nature and does not fight against time, with habits that would increase her quality of life. And like us, she seems to miss mingling with the crowd and dancing till the morning, the most! 

How do you start your day?
Normally! When I work and don’t spend a lot of time at home, I go to bed late and wake up late. Because I work more efficiently at night. But now I go to bed early and get up early. I’m always home, so I have plenty of time for everything. I don’t have to stay up late to finish my work on time.

As soon as the production took a break from filming, I came to one of the coastal towns of Izmir, my family’s summer house. I thought that I would be overwhelmed in Istanbul, because of all the chaos and panic.  I’m glad I did. Nature here is wonderful! Watching the sunset over the sea every evening is my routine now. At least, when I look at the horizon, I don’t see a building… I wake up early in the morning. The sun rises right inside the house.  I don’t need long hours of sleep because the air has plenty of oxygen. We have a huge terrace. I cook myself a delicious breakfast there. I usually watch a series while I’m having breakfast… And then I read for 1-2 hours.

I guess I just needed a little stillness.  

Were you able to maintain your routine?
I didn’t really have a routine. I was busy enough to be happy when I was able to spend a day at home.  Now I’m creating the routine I’ve always wanted to do all my life. It felt really good to stay at home!

How do you spend most of your time?
I read books, I watch movies. I’m doing what I want to do. I’m learning to play the ukulele, for example. There are some great podcasts. I’m just discovering that world. I cook my own food.  I watch ballet and plays from the platforms I follow on the internet.  I rarely exercise. I started meditating.

Did you ever leave the house during social isolation?
There’s an organic farmers market every Tuesday. I go there every Tuesday wearing my mask and gloves, which are now part of me. They pick the fruits and vegetables that morning and sell it there in the afternoon. I do my weekly shopping there. I went for a walk to the coves here a few times. No one was there, both because it was winter and because everyone was at home. I’m having an idyllic quarantine.

Everyone threw themselves into the kitchen these days, what’s your culinary experience is like?
I’ve always loved trying things I like in the kitchen. But I usually don’t have much time. Now that I have fresh ingredients, I’m very hyped up to experiment. I actually like baking desserts. But I’ve also tried traditional stews, börek, and lahmacun. The day before shopping, I make a list of things I want to do, and I shop accordingly every week.

Do you have any suggestions for staying active?
I guess I just needed a little stillness. I haven’t done much except for my walks on the beach. But the pilates instructors I follow on YouTube, on Instagram, are posting some really good exercises. I think I’ll have to start being physically active if this process continues. Dancers are opening ballet classes online. I think I’ll start trying them, too.

Do you have a pet?
I have. I have a chihuahua. But he’s not with me right now. I left him in Istanbul.

Are there any series you’ve binge-watched during this process? I don’t think there’s a better time for binge-watching.
Absolutely. Everyone is home and watching things all the time. Everyone’s making suggestions. They must think I’m so bored, being here by myself. I haven’t even watched half of the recommendations. First, I rewatched the ones I used to love. BoJack Horseman and Community. Then Unorthodox, Anne with an E, Horace, and Pete, Crashing.

What do you expect to change in your personal routine once everything’s normal again?
I’ll definitely try to keep my sleep pattern like this. And my eating pattern. But when life starts moving fast again, I feel like I won’t have time for anything.

How much has the role of technology changed in your life?
I’ve reduced it a lot. I only spend my screen time with movies and TV shows because of the pollution of information.  I try not to FaceTime for too long.

What are you going to do first when everything is back to normal?
I’ll go out with my friends and dance till morning. I want to chat, without a screen in the middle, until my jaw hurts. And I missed going to the movies.

This or That

A book?
Siddartha, Hermann Hesse

A movie?
The Piano Teacher, Haneke

A song?
Virtual Insanity, Jamiroquai

Cologne or disinfectant?

Facetime or Houseparty?

Interview Duygu Bengi
Photography Burcu Karademir