In Istanbul I met with many friends I had not seen for a long time. For my first few days here I stayed with Taner and Medine teyze in Uydukent (Pendik), near both Sabiha Gokcen Airport and Istanbul Park, the Grand Prix race track. Medine teyze and I have a special link as she was a wonderful neighbour for a couple of years and I donated blood for her when she required it to have an operation.
With Taner at a cafe in Moda, Asian Istanbul
After Uydukent I moved to the inspiring Fati and Matt’s place in Icerenkoy, not far from a massive Carrefour shopping centre and a large fruit and vegetable distribution centre (‘hal’ in Turkish). I first came into contact with Fati several years ago when she was working at the University of California Santa Barbara Extension. Coincidentally she is also an AIESEC alumnus.
One afternoon I met Bea for the first time. Bea is an American expat who fell in love with Turkey and many years ago and has been based in Istanbul for the past 8 years. She has a very interesting background reflected in her great writing. We chatted for 5 hours on just about every issue from Chinese food in New York to making a living via the internet. Check out her fascinating stories about Turkey on her blog as well as her Remarkable Solutions website.
In Istanbul I have also met old friends Chris, Tugba, Ebru and Kubilay, Kerem, Ela, Ajda and Mustafa again and look forward to meeting a few more before I leave. Besides the old friends I also met many, many new people at the AIESEC congress which I will blog about soon.