Mersin On The Internets

A few stories from my old city in Turkey:

Turkey is looking to build its first nuclear reactor in Akkuyu, Mersin Province. The idea of a nuclear power plant at Akkuyu is not new but seems more likely to happen this time.

Desert Girl, an American woman living in Kuwait has a quite humorous but unflattering report of her visit to Mersin for GISKAD’s1st International Business Women Congress“. A quote:

We were herded like cattle into the little ballroom of the Hilton in Mersin, and then practically trampled by the onslaught of male Turkish media covering the event who bumped the participants out of the way; I’m sure you know the type – pony tails and khaki men.

Older news:

Mersin was a candidate city for the 2013 Mediterranean Games. She ended up losing to the Greek city of Volos. Compare their two videos: Mersin and Volos.

Forum Mersin, Mersin’s largest shopping centre opened. I would be surprised if all of Mersin’s shopping centres survive in the short to medium term with Forum Mersin joining Carrefour, Marina Vista and other modern shopping centres crowding Mersin’s small market.

My New Mobile Phone: Nokia 2630

Last night I bought a Nokia 2630 to replace the seminal Nokia 3310 I purchased from Bahrain Airport Duty Free in June 2003. Although my 3310 is almost indestructible, its size, age and malfunctioning “0” key meant the time the time for a new mobile phone had well and truly arrived.

The 2630 is twice as slim as the 3310 and yet contains so many extra features: bluetooth, FM radio, VGA camera, video recording, full colour screen, e-mail, support for MP3 ringtones, etcetera, etcetera.

Despite the mobile phone’s small size and multiple features, it still cost only $149 from an Optus dealer for use with Optus pre-paid plans. The phone is locked for either 6 months or until I charge it with $80 worth of credit. The 2630 must be a popular model as the first two Optus dealers I visited had sold out and I only got the last phone at the third dealer.

I have had one or two small issues with the screensaver and finding the predictive text function (just found it!) but overall I’m full of praise for the 2630.

I’ve just entered the 21st century world of mobile communications!

Brickworks Markets, Thebarton

Friday afternoon (21 March) I took Eilish and Breandan to Brickworks Markets, Thebarton. This Inner Western Adelaide institution is named after an old brick factory, the chimney of which is the location centrepiece. The place was new to me as I can hardly remember my last visit to Brickworks more than 20 years ago despite passing by the place thousands of times on the bus.

Besides many market stalls, including a Turkish bazaar-like area, the Brickworks Markets contain multiple eating areas and several old-style entertainment options.

Eilish on a bumperboat

Breandan playing mini golf

Eilish and Breandan whizzing down the jumping castle slide

Neither Breandan or Eilish were tall enough to ride the can-am cars (go-carts) so they begged me to go around the track for them (which I happily obliged).

Overall, the three of us enjoyed the day although Breandan was cranky by the end. The Brickworks is a fun alternative for a family day out.

The Adelaide Zoo In Words And Pictures

On Sunday the 2nd of March I took my 9 year old niece Eilish and 7 year old nephew Breandan for a visit to the Adelaide Zoo. Located in the city’s parklands, entry for adults costs $20 (AUD) and $12 for children. I used an Entertainment Book voucher for a 25% discount.

Eilish and Breandan in the front of the alligator

It was many years since I visited Adelaide zoo and the place has changed substantially. Many of the traditional zoo fortress-like cages have been replaced with contoured landscapes, moats and clear sightlines to the animals, particularly in the South East Asian Rainforest Immersion area. These clear sightlines give both the illusion of being closer to the animals and a less artificial feel.

The alligator waving its leg

The cassowary, a very large flightless bird from north eastern Australia and New Guinea

A meercat in the foreground and giraffe in the background

A beautiful kookaburra’s tail

Two tapirs

One of the monkeys in the South East Asian Rainforest Immersion Exhibit

Two very colourful native Australian parrots

The zoo keeper feeding fairy penguins fish

Although selected exhibits still seem cruel, the educational value of learning about the endangered species and what can be done to help save them more than makes up for it. I’m sure thousands of people, particularly children, have been inspired by a trip to the zoo to contribute towards saving the natural environment and the wild populations of the animals contained within. Adelaide Zoo’s partnership with Monarto Zoo and their native and exotic endangered species breeding projects and campaigns also point to the zoo serving higher level purposes the traditional zoo “freak show”. this is great contrast to the terrible Tarsus Zoo in Turkey.

My highlight of the day were the animals in the Nocturnal House including native rodents and bats.

Before catching the bus back home we walked to a cafe in the city to give the kids a babycino and spend time away from the heat. The above photo is of a reflection from the Mall’s Balls, a Rundle Mall landmark.

Eilish and Breandan were excited and full of energy in the morning but by the end of the hot day their crankiness and tiredness ruled supreme. Breandan steadfastly refused to sit down on the bus and when he did he was not a happy chappy. I love this no-look shot I took of him:

Overall it was a good day together and I look forward to taking the kids out more in the future.