This afternoon

This afternoon ı will go to M1, the large shopping centre on Adana’s outskirts and meet up with my work colleagues for a movie and dinner. The movie may be Vizontele Tuuba, or the Julia Roberts Film Mona Lisa Smile. ‘Vizontele Tuuba’ is the substantially unrelated sequel to the massive Turkish hit (in Turkey anyway) from a few years ago, Vizontele.

From Monday there will be a reshuffle at work with Asli taking over the Adana office and Sebi changing from Adana to Mersin. It was decided that today was a good day to get together. Having two offices 70 km apart working 6 days a week it is rare that everybody is in the same place at the same time.

Hi From Adana

It is Sunday morning and I am currently at an internet cafe near Ali’s on Baraj Yolu, Adana. My other 4 co-inhabitants from Ali’s room are still sleeping.

I came to Adana last night as this weekend Maria returned for a visit with her boyfriend. She will leave on Monday, this time for much longer than a week!

Yesterday I caught the full 19:33 train from Mersin. From Adana train station I walked to the bus stop and jumped on the blue 7C bus to Baral Yolu and Ali’s place. There were the other trainees and Zeynep, Maria’s workmate from the Seyhan Hotel. Zeynep had very kindly brought some profiteroles from Mado. Yum!!!!

From Ali’s 6 of us crowded into Zeynep’s Holden Barina (or whatever the equivalent is in Turkey – Opel ___?) for ‘Cazara’. Yes, the same place with the same band I had seen on my 3 previous visits to Adana!

At Cazara, there were many Americans from the nearby Incirlik air base in the audience. With their haircuts, persona and other other features it was fairly easy to pick them. The band were good as usual – playing the same cover songs, both Turkish and Western. This time Magda, the Cazara expert, assured me they played one new cover song!

As Zeynep, Hande (another Seyhan Hotel employee) and I have the same looking grey Nokia 3210 telephones, there were the same phone swapping shenanigans as the previous week. It is great when the phone language change to العربيّة or Русский with the press of a few keys! Someone also gave Ali’s phone 71 missed calls when Ali was concentrating on something more important….

In a way, this weekend was like the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day only this time it was fun for the participants!

Your Comments are welcome!

I have finally put comment and trackback features on my blog!

I had wanted to do this for a long time. Having comments makes the blog far more interactive. From Haloscan it is very easy to add a commenting feature. I found Haloscan by accident:

I went to Google and searched for ‘random blog’. The first result is www.blogger.com/redirect/next_blog.pyra. I clicked the link and was taken to a random Blogger blog. After visiting several random blogs on various subjects and written in various languages I came across a blog (can’t remember which one) that contained a link to Haloscan just like mine at the bottom of this page.

NOW, PLEASE COMMENT!

Weddings, Parties, Anything, Part II

For ‘breakfast’ early Saturday afternoon, I walked with Cengiz to his place. Cengiz is an ‘SN’, waiting to go on a traineeship abroad. On the way, I bought some fresh cream and this accompanied the honey and stewed quinces very nicely!

At around 5 pm I walked back down Baraj Yolu to Ali’s place. Ebru and Kubilay’s wedding was due to start at 8 pm so I gave myself plenty of time to relax, iron my shirt, shower (a cold shower is better than no shower!) and look spiffy beforehand. For transportation to the wedding venue (the Inci Otel) I was chauffeured by Adana Buyuksehir Belediyesi Ozel Halk Otobusu or ‘the bus’ for those who don’t understand Turkish 🙂

Ebru is an AIESEC alumni. The first time I communicated with her was via icq in early 2001 when I was matched for the traineeship in Mersin. A few years ago Ebru was part of AIESEC Turkey’s National Committee.

At the wedding I estimate there were 200 people. I was greeted by a person who promptly took me, as a foreigner, to the Incirlik Airbase table. Mustafa rescued me and took me to the AIESEC table where I sat next to Hakan. Hakan was one of the AIESECers who dealt with Sevil and Ahmet to establish the traineeship that I originally came to Turkey for. Mustafa and Duygu (also AIESEC alumni) assisted Ebru and Kubilay both before and during the wedding.

A while after the husband and wife came out they were presented in the centre. Guests came up to congratulate them and present the wife with jewellery and the husband with money. I gave Ebru a set of earrings.

The wedding cake was 7 tiers high! When the cake was brought out to the centre, the stage rose. I’m sure even the shortest person could see the cake from their seat!

As usual, there was plenty of music and dancing. A live band played a mixture of Turkish and Western songs. On various occasions I went out to the front and demonstrated by default how good the average Turkish dancer was. One time a belly dancer came out and shook herself around.

Towards the end of the night things settled down and it was eventually time to leave.

I am very proud of Ebru and Kubilay and wish them all the best for the future.

Weddings, Parties, Anything

No, I am not writing an album review about the Aussie band with the same name as this post’s title.

Last weekend I ventured to Adana for 2 parties and a wedding.

Thursday night was Maria’s Portuguese country presentation. The Seyhan Hotel employed her, so there were no problems finding a presentation venue. Included in the night were two powerpoint presentations and some lovely food. The second powerpoint presentation surprised Maria with various photos and expressions from her time in Turkey. Friday morning I scurried back to Mersin for work.

After work Friday I hurried home and readied myself for the weekend. I packed my large suitcase as I required my suit for the wedding and the suitcase was the only bag that would protect it. The case containing suit=suitcase 🙂 I wonder where the name came from?

As I walked to the bus stop I heard a man say ‘yabanci’ (foreigner) to another of his group. There aren’t many suitcases like mine dragged around the streets of Mersin!

I arrived in Adana around 10 pm and walked from the train station to ‘Kebapci Ramazanin Yeri’ (Ramazan’s Kebab Place) for an Adana kebab (doh!). The case and myself headed over to ‘Cazara’ nightclub, the same venue as New Years Eve. There, the trainees and some associates were celebrating Maria’s last night in Adana. The suitcase did not enter as the bouncers would not allow me to proceed with it. First they told me to open it for inspection and then for me to leave the suitcase outside. I guess they thought the case could contain explosives!

The undoubted highlight of this night at Cazara was Maria singing Nickelback’s ‘How You Remind Me’ backed by the house band ‘Dayi’. The passion she showed singing was super. Her support group in the crowd were very passionate, too!

At about 3 am, after the band finished, I rescued my suitcase and about 10 of us piled into 2 cars back to Ali’s place. Zeynep, Maria’s workmate was due to work at 8 or 9 that morning. We watched ‘The ChubbChubbs’ short animated film and a few songs were sung and played with Ali’s guitar. At about 5 pm it was time for bed – 5 of us squashed in the same two fold down couch beds.

I will write about Saturday (including the wedding) tomorrow.

Goodies in the mail!

Thank you Shannon, Eilish and Breandan for the two postcards!

Also, çok thanks to Calvin, Susie, Tash, Melissa and Dominic from Devon, UK, for the personalised mug!

I sent Calvin a photo of myself in front of the pyramids at Giza, Egypt. In return I received a fantastic coffee mug with the picture on one side and a message from Calvin and family on the other. If it was flat I would scan it and post it here.

A few weeks ago I received another surprise in the mail – Mum and Dad sent a pepper grinder and salt shaker! The first thing I did was throw out the stale, refined powder stuff they call black pepper here. Fresh pepper is 1,000,000 % better.

At about the same time I recieved the pepper grinder, one of the AIESEC trainees staying at my place opened a drawer in the kitchen. The drawer contained a grater, soup ladel, garlic crush and assorted other utensils. I had not seen them in the 8 months since I arrived back! I had assumed the drawers were empty as the timber had swollen due to moisture and the drawers were very hard to open.

Roadworks

For the past several weeks, workmen have been busy tearing up and re-laying the road and footpaths of Silifke Caddesi, the main road virtually next to my apartment. The council is also working at replacing the coastal road near the town centre. These main roads do not need the attention they are getting. My boss swore to me that the coast was only renewed 4 or 5 months ago. The roads that do need the attention are the back roads and the roads in poor areas. However, these roads are not the roads that win elections. The current road building is an abuse of power by the local government.

The weekend

On Saturday evening Naoki finally arrived in Mersin. He was going to arrive in the morning but his flight from Istanbul was cancelled. He came to Mersin as a representative of IEC at DVC a language school at a Californian college. That evening, Ahmet, himself and I went to dinner at Et & Balik Restaurant on the coast road.

Oh yeah, was Saturday Valentine’s Day?

The following morning I picked Naoki from the Hilton and we went for a drive down the coast to the west. He went from Japan to study political science in Kentucky. He has worked for the college for 5 years. We enjoyed discussions about many issues including politics, culture and philosophy. After a coffee and cake at ‘Kahve Evi’ I dropped him off at work and went to the train station to pick up a bunch of people: Alejandro, Jiri, Karin, Devrim, Magda, Maria, Isabelle and Fabian – 8 people from 8 different countries.

We made it to Guzeloglu Tantuni for tantuni and then the local kunefe shop – for kunefe. It was getting late in the afternoon when we caught the bus to Kizkalesi down the coast and as the sun was setting, we disembarked when we saw the ancient Greek theatre and other ruins at Ayas. The weather was freezing and Karin kindly lent me her scarf and gloves – my hands were going purple.

After one or two adventures we made it back to Mersin on the dolmus. Most of the group caught the train to Adana whilst Devrim, Karin and I went to Devrim’s place in Pozcu for dinner. After dinner the power went out and in candle light we told jokes, some that could be put on this website in the interests of good taste 🙂

At around 10:30 pm I made a run for it home in the ccoooolllldd. My apartment was relatively warm as it received the sun during the day.