Pamukkale Terraces

Oh yeh it was stinking hot … not exactly the best conditions to be taking pictures ….

Pammukale was great to visit again, to see these amazing white terraces coming out the side of the mountain. We even swam in the mineral waters among the ruins of the old roman baths!

more pictures from our week in Turkey here

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Yeh, I’m a fan of Daft Punk and their Discovery album still gets played a lot when i’m out n about with the ipod or at the gym.

I’ve had a great weekend with Ian, his brother and girlfriend staying with me. Saturday we did the tourist trail that I came up with.

This involves taking the light rail to Sultanhamet to see the Blue Mosque, coffee in a local pastahane, shopping in the Grand Bazaar, a late lunch at Fes Cafe in the Bazaar and then the walk down through all the clothes shops to Spice Market or Egyptian Bazaar to buy teas, nuts and Turkish Delight.

We then walked over Galata Bridge and took the funicular or cable car up to Tunel … which is hard work so we stopped in for the worlds best profiteroles.

Now its Sunday night and I’m looking at my Turkish homework and thinking about this week. So Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger – to keep me motivate.


Cold as cold …

a few people have been showing this pic from Ankara on Sunday which was front page on TDNĀ 

Yes it is cold here finally … and it did snow for an hour in Istanbul on the weekend – blowing around big white fluffy stuff. Then the sun came out, dried up all the snow and .. oh shit thats a nursery rhyme I’m thinking of.

Yup its pretty damn cold right now. I finally turned the central heating on in my apartment. Going up to London tomorrow, British Airways stirke is off but already had been re-ticketed for Turkish Airlines … who apparently dont have a veg meal as an option. Go figure! It probably has a sound logical argument if you are Turkish.

Australia Day 2007

G’day, Go For Gold and hope everyone had a good weekend Down Under …

Hello from Istanbul, where we are having a mild mild warm winter -Happy Australia Day to you all and maybe I’ll just tune into Triple J Top 100!!! For most people, this day as I remember is spent hiding from the heat, after 26 Jan, it slowly gets colder.

Meanwhile, temperatures have stayed in the mid-teens and still no sign of snow or rain. Finally the papers are waking up to the fact that a warm dry winter can lead to crop failures and drought if and when spring comes. Interesting the Turkish Daily News wrote last month about the smog problem in Istanbul and blamed it on ‘illegal’ coal – which apparently was being given away to poor/low income people. So who produces the illegal coal and who distributes it didn’t seem to get much mention!

Er Ian turned up Friday night so … that explains why it is Sunday night my time and this post was for Friday … We had a good weekend, rained all day Saturday and Sunday was cold and then it snowed for an hour.

The weekend was spent enjoying Muzedechanga and the Sabanci Museum, which was a private ‘estate’ that was gifted to a local Uni to become a Museum. I wish it was my house! in a quite Bosporous Village. Great Views, Great House! The food was great too. I’ll write it up for my VegIstanbul blog.

Happy New Year

In the continuing story of celebrating the new year … here is something special I found when I arrived back at work.

Isn’t he just the cutest rat-dog with reindeer antlers you ever laid your eyes on! I have to keep my eyes on him. Several of the ladies at work are threatening to take him away to a better home … hmmm

But surprise surprise … I got to work and let me tell you things weren’t too bad … 2 diaries, several pens, a few calendars, a lighter and A SHIRT AND TIE BOX SET …. I’m doing pretty well. Shame the shirt is too big and the tie is not me!

Haven’t people figured out that I have my own style yet?????

Christmas Cheer and some stuff

Well its now the day after the day after Christmas. I had noticed a lot of silly people writing christmas blog posts on the meaning of life and what they had got up to this year. Perhaps I’ll try to be sentimental.

I had thought of writing a long email about how great my life is and then sending it to everyone I haven’t heard of this year, but the idea passed quickly. Equally, the idea of creating a long photo-journal in powerpoint and sending it to my dearest friends passed just as quickly. Everyone knows that there is one photo-journal for me online, which I keep more up to date than this site.

This year has been a good year and the end of it came along just as quickly as it stared. The year ends with Ian and I in Istanbul. A quiet Christmas it hasn’t been, the streets are decorated with trees, fake santas, lights and we have had snow over the past 2 days. All very Christmassy, except its for the Yeni Yil.

I’ll be here til summer 07 … back to London for adventures, hopes to get tickets for Glastonbury, Sonar in Barcelona, Glade in SE England … and a trip to Italy. I hope.

Next year looks interesting for work … no idea where I might end up this time next year. It’s all exciting.

Mutlu Yillar – Happy New Year

snow snow snow

I don’t know what you would call a light snowshower … but the whitestuff is coming down like crazy today.

The worst part is thinking about all the locals who are work today. If it get’s really bad, then a lot of people could be stuck at work. Last time it snowed here, people stayed at home or slept the night on the floor of the office! How crazy is that!

Google Calendar Mania

Are you thinking of coming to Istanbul? Wanting to hang out in the bazaar, haman or the Harem? Then check my Google Calendar to see if I’m going to be around (or if someone is here already).

Istanbul is such a great city and January can be both warm (average 10C) or snowing and cold. February is likely to be very STRESSFUL and BUSY. March is getting better and then suddenly I’ll be thinking of London again!

So Google me … and if you don’t have a googlemail address /// I can get you one!

Istanbulu is what I am

Excellant source of info and twisted expat humour that is Timeout Istanbul has made my first week all the more enjoyable

Apparently I’m an Istanbulu – I think the extra u is for a language rule which says your vowels must have harmony, believe it or not. But I’m settling in. There is nothing that is more fun then trying to get your head around a completly new language which has no resemblance to any you have previously studied.

So far I’ve not been run over by a mad driver, though they are all mad – braving a pedestrian crossing is a risk all of its own. But I can’t say driving is a good experience. Everyday this week the driver has been late which means dealing with ‘rush hour’ traffic problems and arriving at work usually 2 hours later … you then repeat the whole same exercise in the evening. My day usually starts at 6.20 heading to the gym, rushing breakfast and cursing the driver between 8am and 8.30am when they turn up.

I haven’t started smoking – but the next person who lights up around me, better be SHARING. Everyone smokes here, at breakfast, in the car, in the office hmmmmmm and the smog in the evening is ridiculous.

I was surprised to realise that it snows in Istanbul and it was cold enough yesterday to be bloody snowing in North Queensland as far as I was concerned. It was that cold. Yes, we were expecting snow. NOW I AM WORRIED. If it snows in London, it snows in February to just be romantic, here in Istanbul … its all blue skys and sunny … no snow, thank you.

Back to London on Tuesday for 2 days in the office, supporting my team who are coming up to learn all the technical stuff that they can learn on Vodafone live! Guess who is coming to Istanbul next weekend! ! ! ! ! ! !

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20060928 Did you hear the one about Istanbul?

So at some point in 2004 I decided that Istanbul was a cool place and I’d like to go back and live there. A few of you have been lucky enough to go through the hundreds of shots I took when I first visited the country.

Without any doubt, part of moving to Europe was the adventure to live in a country where English was not going to help me … the opportunity to immerse myself in another culture – to live and breath it, I was just hoping that this would happen sooner rather than later. So in the past month, most of you now know this, I was quietly chasing a role in Vodafone Turkey. I’ve had to be a bit quiet about it, just until I knew it was going to happen. I visited about 2 weeks back and now today it’s all been confirmed and now I have 6 months overseas to contend with.

So Telsim is the number 2 operator with 14mil customers. In a country of 77mil there is still alot of opportunity and growth. Judging by whats happening in the global telecoms market, I have an excellant chance to go do something rewarding with the team there. I’ll be working on a number of projects or showing my massive capacity to manage anything large or small.

I’d thought Ian and I would do this together, once I have my European Passport in about 4 years time. I thought if anything it would be me following him to the US or Spain or France or somewhere for post-doc work. Now I’m packing my bags and going to setup a second ‘home’ for us and we shall take turns to visit each other. It’s going to be cool – Turkey for Xmas (they don’t celebrate) and New Years (its supposed to be brilliant).

So I have to go and buy a diary to mark down all those weekends when people will come visit and I’ll show off my great apartment with views of the Bosporous. Tours around the old town, Taksim square and great food!