I am more pumped and happier now than I have been in 2005. In the last week I decided to visit two different places for very different reasons:
a) Pakistan in June
In February Hani invited me to his Karachi wedding. Hani was an AIESEC trainee in Turkey during 2002. His family run a trading company of which is an integral part of. I thought about it for a while and consulted with my boss before reserving the flight. I always wanted to do the trip but it was a matter of pulling my finger out and living life instead of otherwise.
The wedding experience will be fascinating:
…another interesting tid bit about a sub continental wedding – is that the couple take their wedding vows (seperately) earlier in the day in a mosque (or at home – there’s no emphasis on that) and the wedding function is basically a dinner from the girl’s side – which happens that night.
Then it is up to the guy’s side to choose a date (preferably w/in 3-5 days time) to keep the dinner from his side.
These dinner functions generally are clocked to finishing way past mid night (an inidication to that is the fact that dinner itself isnt’ served before 1130pm or so).
Besides Hani and his wedding, I’m also really looking forward to visiting Pakistan because of:
* The food: curries, fruits, spices and other parts of the Pakistani cuisine
* Travelling on the trains
* Seeing Karachi and some of the country’s north
* The culture and people
* The politics and intrigue of a country bordered by Iran, Afghanistan, China and India
All in all, I should have around 10 days in Pakistan.
b) London in April
A week or so ago, Lufthansa began a special promotion for their new, early morning flights from Izmir and Ankara. Flights to different cities in Europe ranged from US$133 to US$188. I considered utilising this extremely good deal but there were no flights to places I had not seen before, besides Moscow, which has horrendous visa hurdles to go through.
One evening I was chatting to Jen on MSN, when she suggested coming to London. I thought, why not. The following day I went next door to SESA Turizm and reserved my ticket. The US$166 flight cost is almost matched by US$130 in taxes!
April will be 22 months since I have visited a country that is either:
2) developed, or
I can’t wait to go and let my hair down for three days; visit an ’80’s disco; party; enjoy the beautiful sophistication of a (hopefully) mild and sunny London spring day; shop for items not readily available in Mersin (vanilla essence, body paint, bacon, fresh ginger); eat foods of a million different styles; consume vast quantities of pork, bacon and ham; admire the view from the London Eye; see Jen, Ryan, Tom, Erman, Chris & Karl and hopefully, Calvin & Sue, Carol & Danny; visit pubs and cafes; maybe see a show or concert; and enjoy multicultural London.
Of course, I will be mindful that London is one of the most expensive cities in the world and a Turkish salary won’t go far, so my trip won’t be too lavish.
On the return journey I will have 6 hours in Munich. I hope to see Nadja and Markus in this time.
If you are in London or Munich and want to say hello, drop me a line.