A new year has arrived. I expect this year to be very important. We’ll see how it unravels…
After a few changes of plan, NYE was spent at Mete’s summer house down the coast near Tomuk. To drink, I brought some home-made punch that was barely drinkable. I should not have added the Syrian Arak 🙂
From 1 January, officially the new Tukish lira is the only currency to be accepted as payment, although I have seen some old lira still floating around.
2006 has also brought about the tragic death of three siblings in far Eastern Turkey due to bird-flu. Dogubeyazit, where the infections are believed to have occurred is a long way away from Mersin, so I’m still happily eating my chicken kebabs.
Mersin’s weather so far this year has been mild and pleasant, unlike pre-Christmas. In fact, on 2 January, Wunderground forecast Mersin’s temperature to only range between 13 and 16 C for the whole 7-day period. Quite amazing!
From Tuesday to Friday next week is Kurban Bayrami. The dates fall very conveniently and work will closed for the whole week meaning we have an 8 day holiday. Yay! Tomorrow night I’m off to Antalya to see Umut and Beysun, my old flatmate from 2001-2002 and his wife. This will be my first trip to Antalya, one of Turkey’s most picturesque areas, and I’m excited!
Antalya is not the only trip coming up. In early February I will visit Australia, stopping off in Istanbul and Dubai/Oman on the way. I’ve never holidayed in Australia before so it will be a new experience. Yesterday I purchased both the Turkish and Australian domestic flights. Due to the route, I will have 3 separate flight tickets. My sequence is:
On the way back the flight order is reversed.
After paying for my Virgin Blue tickets I remembered I had a Qantas Frequent Flier balance from years ago. I could have obtained the Melbourne-Adelaide return flights free! Although this scenario sounds bad, it isn’t actually a big deal. The Virgin Blue flights only cost AUD 158 and if I used my Qantas frequent flier points I still would have had to pay AUD 93 in taxes and duties!!! I’m only paying AUD 65 difference and I still have my points.