I Met The Other Mersin Aussie

Last night I met Peter for the first time, the only other Australian I know of in Mersin. Peter, his Turkish wife and their son came to Mersin six months ago although I did not hear about him until earlier this month.

We ate fish and chips, Turkish style, accompanied by a few beers and the Galatasaray-Samsun soccer game in the background. Both Peter and his wife teach English at a neighbouring town’s university. Previously, they lived in Melbourne and came to Mersin to give their son a taste of Turkish life and because the wife is from Mersin.

Following dinner we went to Mavi Sanat for coffee and dessert. A French/Turkish couple runs Mavi Sanat and I had not visited the place for a long time. The atmosphere is more sophisticated than the average Mersin haunt and it is somewhere I should visit more often.

I enjoyed meeting Peter and although we are of different generations, we could relate on almost everything. I now know there were at least two people in Mersin watching last yearโ€™s AFL grand final!

Mersin’s Water Is Cut-Off For Two Days

Yesterday and today Mersin’s water supply is supposed to be off for maintenance. I say supposed to be, because the water in the office is still on, although it is dribbling at a far slower rate than usual.

My apartment block has a bore and is not connected to the mains so I enjoyed that shower last night without any worries ๐Ÿ™‚

The bore system is not perfect, though. At the sixth (top) floor, the variable water pressure causes taps to hiss and spit, sometimes pushing out air, other times, high-pressure water, often in intermittent bursts. This is one of the quirks of living in Turkey.

Testing…New Comment System Added

I have recently added the Blogger comment system. From now on I will use this and not the Haloscan commenting. I now automatically receive Blogger comments as emails so they are much easier to keep track of. However, the main reason I have changed commenting is because Haloscan wouldn’t let me comment as the IP is on the OPM blacklist.

Anyway, ignore the “old comment” links on the left of the page and use the comment function at the centre below each post.

Back to Normal Service…

The past week was very busy. This is why I have not posted. Besides work and social commitments I also managed to register some .IN domain names, including Joe.In, in the Indian domain name launch. Also this week, an ancient fossil was found in Tarsus, and one protester died in Mersin when protesting on the sixth anniversary of Abdullah Ocalan’s capture.

The big news in Mersin this weekend is the visit of the main opposition party’s leader, the Kemalist CHP’s Mr. Deniz Baykal. At the previous Turkish local elections, Mersin was one of the cities that remained with the CHP and did not change to the formerly Islamist AK Parti. Mr. Baykal opened the newly renovated footpath in front of work. Following are photos of this event other things from the weekend.

Is anything funny written on the poster?

Assolist? Sounds a touch dodgy in English. In Turkish an “assolist” is equivalent to the “top billing” or the best soloist. The advert is for a nightclub.

Following is of a shop opening, wedding or something similarly celebratory. The restaurant sells roast chickens.

Do you love palm trees and other tacky light decorations? Come to the Mersin city centre – we have heaps!

In all colours, too…




Deniz Baykal came

Palms also look horrible during the day

Evil eyes made of balloons? We have everything in Mersin!

The new path. The resources gone into welcoming Baykal could have fed a starving country for a day. (Yes, those are: a) a Turkish flag; a picture of Baykal; and c) a welcome banner hanging off that building.)

Baykal arrives surrounded by his security and the Greater city mayor, Macit Ozcan and Akdeniz (Mediterranean) Council mayor, Kenan Yucesoy. The entourage included 4 full-size buses and several cars. The adoring crowd welcome him. Count all the baldheads in this shot!

The MC seemed to take forever welcoming both the Mr. Baykal and Mr. Yucesoy. The amount and strength of the compliments given were almost sickening. It was if gods were about to appear.

There was music and dancing.

Mr. Yucesoy spoke. There were volume problems with the microphones. I don’t think people cared if they could hear him or not. I didn’t. Notice Mr. Baykal’s security stage-right of Yucesoy.

Mr. Baykal comes to the stage and receives rose petals.

CHP in balloons


That is more than enough palms, balloons and politicians for now…

Seen: 2005’s World-Leading Hammer Throw

The past week was very busy. This is why I have not posted. Besides work and social commitments I also managed to register some .IN domain names, including Joe.In, in the Indian domain name launch. Also this week, an ancient fossil was found in Tarsus, and

The big news in Mersin this weekend is the launch

HOLD ON, HOLD ON, STOP RIGHT THERE. I AM CURRENTLY IN A STATE OF MILD SHOCK. I just found out 2005’s world’s longest hammer throw was thrown in Mersin today. Not only that, but I most likely witnessed and even took a picture of the person throwing the record throw!

I wasn’t even going to write about the hammer throwing I saw today. It occurred on the dirt soccer pitch across the river from where the national politician Deniz Baykal was going to officially open the new path. I was more interested in the path-launch and only watched the hammer throwing from the bridge whilst waiting for Deniz to arrive. This was the same location as Tarkan’s concert last year. The throwing looked like nothing special to me. The only thing strange was the surveying equipment used (instead of tape) to measure the throws. That, and the fact one participant threw far longer than the others.

Whilst looking for the “Mersin” stories at Google News, I discovered Esref Apak threw 78.06 metres at the Turkish National Winter Throwing Championships. This is more than any other person has thrown in 2005.

Taking a photo of what I believe is Esref’s record throw was a complete coincidence. I didn’t know who he was and I only took a photo for the hell of it. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen the hammer throw live before. As I mentioned previously, I wasn’t even going to write about the hammer throwing in the blog today. After the record throw, the sparse crowd gave a round of applause.
Anyway, here is Esref, milliseconds after releasing his record throw:

A close-up view of the same throw:

Esref’s follow-up throw:

Close-up:

Hopefully, today’s news will create more interest in the 5th European Winter Throwing Cup to be held in Mersin in 3 weeks’ time.

The Mersin Coastline

This morning I walked westwards along the coastline and back again. Now I have a digital camera I can take photos of random things and post them here.

Mersin’s largest mosque, “Mugdat” Mosque, is undergoing extensions. The mosque’s fifth and sixth minaret’s are currently under construction. This expense seems grandiose for a country with ever-present poverty. I don’t know why this money is not spend on charities instead.

Mountains (with snow!) in the background, the Mediterranean in the foreground, military in the centre.

What birds are those?

My new car ๐Ÿ™‚

Mixed Drinks Night

Last night Orhan came around to say g’day and watch the soccer on TV. He arrived whilst I was making my current favourite smoothie:

Ingredients
1 kiwi fruit
1 orange
2 or 3 Anamur bananas (the equivalent of 1 normal-sized banana)
1 heaped teaspoon honey
A few pinches of dried mint (fresh is better)
Water to liquidise

Steps
1) Wash fruit and cut into small pieces. Add to blender.
2) Add honey, mint and water.
2) Blend until smooth.

I love this drink!

Kiwi fruit are relatively new and uncommon on the Turkish market. Recently, I have seen them at the weekly Wednesday bazaar for 2 YTL (2 million old lira) a kilogram.

Later, time came to open the Absolute Kurant vodka I bought from duty free at the Turkish-Syrian border. Soda water and ice smoothed the vodka.

The final drink of the night was a modified White Russian:

Ingredients
Vodka (normal Finlandia this time)
Kahlua
Soda water
Sweetened Condensed Milk thinned with a dash of hot water
Ice

Place all ingredients in glass and stir.

This drink was delicious, although highly intoxicating if drunk in significant quantities. Sweetened condensed milk is hard to find in Turkey and the stuff I used came from Syria. Complementing the drinks were “Tutku” chocolate-filled biscuits.