Monday, June 30, 2008

Day 2 in Istanbul

I actually wrote this post yesterday but was having trouble posting from the Turkish based key board so here it is a day late.

Well ıt ıs offıcal I am totally knackered and totally fed up with this Turkish keyboard...

I have been in Istanbul for 7 hours and have been up for 31 hours without rest and feel a desperate need for a nap. After a whirlwind day in JLM I got on a sherut taxi and headed for my Turkish adventure. I receive what I like to call as the Israeli "hotel california treatment" when trying to exit the country (aka you can check in easily but we will give you hell when you try to check out) which included a personal escort to my gate by security, well that says something though what I do not know!

anyways I landed just before 8am into Istanbul and after an slow but no hassled entry was greeted by my colleague Nuri Tinaz and his wife at arrival who picked me up at the airport
My first 7 hours were spent moving into ISAM and then joining Nuri and his extended family for a breakfast brunch a lovely restaurant right on the Bosporus sea. Nuri said it would be a 3 hour brunch and I though he was joking but in the end we did have a lovely and very leisurely 3 hour breakfast of chatting staring out across the sea and going back to the buffet again and again for wonderful cheese to die for fresh fruit and veg and breads and even a straight from the hive slab of honey comb which I enjoyed generous portions of spread on chunky wheat bread.

On the way back to ISAM Nuri pointed out a number of religious sites such as a synagogue an armenian church and a mosque and then he said we will now visit a most sacred secular site as his wife pulled into a large modern shopping maul His wife daughter niece and sister in law all went to a dress shop while he helped me get cash form a Turkish ATM and buy a Turkish sim card for my phone Am now back at ISAM typing this and realizing I need to rest before I fall asleep here at his computer more later...

well day 1 was great, I even ventured out on my own for dinner and treated my self to a donner kebab dinner (thank god for menus with pictures on them) before retiring for the evening. Got a startling 4am wake-up call and am now aware that there is a mosque right next to the institute whose loud speaker for the call to prayer seem to face directly at my window. Today it is down to business, with meetings scheduled with potential research colleagues and articles to read.

3 Comments:

At 7:28 AM, Blogger Emily said...

I couldn't believe your trip to the airport in Texas! But sounds like things are going smoothly enough now. Please keep posting so we will know how you are doing and enjoy lots of Middle Eastern food while you are there...

Emily

 
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