Bowling – 196 Baby!

“At Mersin Rollhouse we have our hands on our balls”

In the first game of bowling today I almost knocked every pin down. If my last ball was a strike I would have a) not left a single pin standing and b) cracked the 200 barrier. All but the final frame ending up as either strikes or spares. My cumulative tally was 196, 30 more than my previous personal best. Both scoreboards are below:

Today’s new personal best score scoreboard

My previous personal best score scoreboard

An interesting statistic is my previous personal best included 4 more strikes yet was still 30 points lower than today’s game. The difference is today I made 7/8 spares as opposed to 0/5 last time.

I still have a long way to improve as I’m currently bowling in a straight line and have not mastered the more effective hooking style used by the professionals and serious amateurs.


Carob The Wonder Food

Carob beans

Sometimes I take photos for Orhan’s web design customers. In March Orhan asked me to photograph a local food manufacturer, Atiseri’s products for their upcoming shopping website.

Atiseri’s products

Atiseri produce carob nectar (keciboynuzu/harnup nektari), carob molasses (keciboynuzu/harnup nektari), carob powder, carob beans, tahini paste (tahin), halva (helva), candied Seville orange (turunc tatlisi), andiz extract and various other food and health products.

In return for shooting the photographs, Atiseri were kind enough to give me a selection of their products. The item I am most thankful for is the carob nectar. Almost every day for a few months I took a tablespoon of this syrup. In that time I never became sick, despite facing some stressful times. In 2005, whilst in Mersin Dad also took carob molasses daily after hearing about its nutritious value on his trip to Antalya.

Carob nectar is purer than the more common molasses because nectar is produced at a lower temperature.

Carob, also known as St. John’s Bread (after John the Baptist who was believed to have sustained himself in the desert on a diet of carob beans) contains many of the vitamins and minerals the human body requires.

The carob tree is native to the Mediterranean. In Mersin, random carob trees are found in many places including near the city-train station road and on the military base next to the Muftu River bridge. With its similar climate, it’s not surprising that carob trees are also being grown in my homeland, South Australia. Unfortunately, carob in Australia does not have a good reputation as it is largely remembered in the form of carob chocolate, an awful tasting chocolate-substitute semi-popular in the 1980’s. Indeed, before coming to Turkey, this was my only knowledge of carob.


Mersin, Turkey – Latakia, Syria Ferry Restarts 28 June

The Mersin, Turkey to Latakia (alternative spelling: Lattakia; in Turkish: Lazkiye) Syria international ferry will restart on 28 June for the 2007 summer season.

In 2006 the ferry cost USD 48 one way and USD 96 return and ran Mondays and Thursdays, departing Mersin at 9 AM and returning from Latakia at 2 PM. I will update this post when I hear the prices and schedule for this year.

Thank you Christel for the tip!

UPDATE: The 2007 ferry schedule is the same as 2006’s: departing Mersin at 9 AM on Mondays and Thursdays and returning from Latakia in the afternoon on the same day. The cost is $65 one-way and $130 return, more than 30% more expensive than last year. Merlat sell tickets: telephone +90-324-237 1668.

NOTE: some advice from Adam in comments:

…these ferries don’t seem terribly reliable … the one on Monday 13 August 2007 was cancelled altogether. Check and double check, if you’re thinking of using it!


A Relic From An Ancient Past

As long as I can recall, the partially-constructed apartment complex pictured above has remained idle. According to its sign, “Pozcu Plaza” was going to be the ‘residence of the year 2000’.

“Pozcu Plaza” was highly likely one of the countless victims of Turkey’s dual economic collapses in 1999 and 2001. In these years many construction projects came to a standstill or stopped completely as their owners became bankrupt, ran out of money or both. Not visible in the photo above is a crane stuck on the roof, evidence that the development came to a halt suddenly.

Located on prime real estate overlooking the Mersin coastline, the development is crying out to be completed or demolished. However, both of these options are very expensive and only government intervention or a huge rise in land prices will lead to “Pozcu Plaza” regaining face.