Libertarian Thoughts

Recently I’ve been reading a few libertarian-slanted blogs. I’m by no means a libertarian and disagree with much that is written. However, there are several libertarian issues that interest me, such as:

* an end to corporate welfare
* a sunset clause for all government legislation
* a simplified taxation system
* a realistic view of the threat of international terrorism
* an unrestricted internet
* true free trade

Although I live a long way away, I still try to stay in touch with Australian current affairs. From my observations, Australian politics is staid with few new ideas promoted. The Liberal Democratic Party could make politics more interesting with their different views. To be noticed they will have to promote their party well.

My first and foremost wish for the next Australian Federal election is to see the back of the current dishonest and disgraceful government. Other than that, I’d like the Independent candidates, Democrats, Greens, LDP and other minor parties to each gain significant votes in order to shake up Australian politics. I doubt this will happen but I can only hope.


Air Arabia Now Flies To Istanbul

Great news for budget travellers living in Turkey. Air Arabia, the Middle Eastern low-cost airline based out of Sharjah, UAE, has started flying twice a week to Istanbul.

From Sabiha Gokcen Airport on Istanbul’s Asian side people can now fly via Sharjah to great destinations like Kathmandu, Sana’a, Luxor and Colombo (but not Karachi).

Checking the website, the ridiculous prices in the advert above were nowhere to be seen. In fact, from the results I got, it seemed the prices were not that much cheaper than discount-economy class on a full-service airline.

I hope to fly Air Arabia one day.


Yves Larock Live At The Armada, Mersin, Turkey, 25 November 2006

This week, the above poster advertising Yves Larock ‘Africanism’ was plastered around Mersin. What caught my eye was the fact Yves Larock obviously was not a Turkish act, and, judging by the ‘CH’ on the poster, probably came from Switzerland.

Last night, after some umming and erring, flatmate Levent and I decided to go. The Armada is a new (opened this year) multi-purpose venue located on the coast east of the Hilton Hotel. Earlier in the day, a workmate called The Armada to see if males without female company could enter. A common policy in Turkey for decent nightspots is to bar single or groups of males. In typical Turkish fashion, the answer was ‘maybe’.

The bouncers did accept our 20 YTL and we were allowed in. A decent crowd (500?) was in attendance, and, although not completely full, it made a perfect fit. Following a mix of Turkish and foreign dance music, Yves Larock came on after midnight. With the theme ‘Africanism’ on his posters, I was expecting more tribal music, than the house he played. As a person who has not been to a real disco for a long time, I did not care about semantics. Neither did Levent. We enjoyed grooving on the dancefloor almost continuously for more than 3 hours.

The great light and smoke show complemented the music. Sometimes the machine smoke was so thick the visibility was zero. The tobacco smoke also hung around.

Last night reminded me of my escapades at The Planet nightclub in Adelaide several years ago. The number of people of Mediterranean origin was the same, althought there were no broken glasses underfoot at The Armada, only cigarette butts.

By 2:30 I had tired and was ready to leave, although Levent, with the combination of raki and beer in his veins, wanted to keep going.

After 3 am we left and walked into town to Haci Baba Restaurant. I ate kelle-paca corbasi (sheep’s head and feet soup) whilst Levent settled for mercimek corbasi (lentil soup).

After a great night, at 4:45 am I collapsed asleep in bed.

Reading Yves Larock’s website this morning, I see that the Mersin gig was his only performance in Turkey. He came to Turkey just to perform in Mersin!!!! He must have a Mersin girlfriend, know The Armada owner or something…


Pearl Jam To Rock Adelaide

In the next few days my favourite band, Pearl Jam, will play two concerts in Adelaide. Last week, U2, another great group, were also in town. Unfortunately, I’m on the other side of the world and cannot attend.

This time reminds me of February/March 1998 when I went with university friend Ryan to see U2 in Sydney and then a week later saw Pearl Jam at Thebarton Oval.

A few days ago, members of the two bands performed a cheesy version of Neil Young’s Rockin’ In The Free World in Melbourne. Here is a much better version from Pearl Jam’s 2003 Adelaide concert. If you look carefully, you may be able to see my sister Anna’s and my bobbing heads in the front row. Anna received one of the broken tambourines this night. Other Pearl Jam Adelaide 2003 concert videos are here. If you haven’t had enough Free World Rockin’, there is also a video from Pearl Jam’s Milan concert I attended a few months ago.


Photos From The Office Today

The above photo (featuring Nesibe) was taken partially reflecting and partially through a glass pane.

A delicious and relatively light cream fruit cake from Denizkizi Pastanesi (Mermaid Cake Shop).

A section of my female boss’ desk, featuring 4 telephones (two wireless landline, 2 mobile), a telephone battery, an air conditioning remote control, an escape key and a pen.



Surprisingly, this morning I did require my alarm to wake me up at
11:30. A quick goodbye to Mete and his sister and I was off to catch
the bus from Turgut Ozal Boulevard into the city.

Lady, Dafne and I were due to meet at the train station at 12 noon. I arrived late but they arrived later, only to see the 12:20 train leave without us.
Our next option was to catch a bus to Tarsus.
Luckily, when I askedakebapci for directions to the otogar (bus station) a kebab delivery car was just leaving for the direction of the otogar and we received a free ride there!

Sebi met us Tarsus’ Cleopatra’s Gate and, as the 3 of us from Adana had not eaten breakfast, we made our way to the great value, well-located and terrifically-set restaurant overlooking the ancient Roman road for a kebab lunch. Whilst at lunch, Sebi’s English teacher, Mehmet, joined us.

Mehmet, Sebiha, myself, Lady and Dafne at the restaurant with the ancient Roman road ruins in the background

Following the meal we walked around the town, visiting St. Paul’s Well and St. Paul’s Church.

Many Turkish flags around a globe.

Does the Tarsus Council have any plans to take over the world?

Another Turkish flag, this one visible through an entry gate to St. Paul’s Church

A St. Paul’s Church ceiling detail

As Dafne had to return to Gaziantep via Adana that evening, she and Lady left early, not leaving enough time to have a proper look at the town. Next time…


Colombian Night In Adana

The Antakya trip did not happen as expected although it may be on next weekend. The Colombia night did occur, though, and Lady Yohanna and Dafne (a trainee in Gaziantep) put on a great show.

Neither Aylin or I knew where the new AIESEC office was (despite having the address). We eventually found it in Karincalar after receiving telephone instructions.

The evening began with a PowerPoint presentation, then Colombian food followed by dancing. The audience consisted of AIESECers,
hangers-on (like myself) and 6 Erasmus exchange students from the Czech Republic, currently studying at the local Cukurova University. I met with several AIESECers I hadn’t seen for a long time, including Mete and Kadriye.

Dafne and Lady presenting Colombia

Lady and Mete

Lady and Dafne demonstrated the Salsa and other Colombian dance styles. Dafne, in particular, is a brilliant dancer.

Lady, myself, Aylin and Dafne

Pearl Jam, Colombian style

Following the presentation made our way to the old AIESEC trainee haunt of Cazara Nightclub on Ziyapasa
Street. This was the place I spent New Years Eve 2003-4 in.

A special thank you to Mete for that birthday tequila and letting me crash at his place.