Archive for February, 2006

All used bookstores smell the same

Whenever in Taksim, I try stop by Beyoglu Sahaflar Carsisi. It’s a 2 level place of bookstores piled high with pre-read books, magazines, and even a few movie posters. Today I bypassed pages like a Turkish printing of Donald Trump: Art of the Deal, and Frommer’s Europe for Five Dollars a Day (when was THAT printed?). I opted for a nice copy of Mevlana’s Mesnevi along with a Capadoccia travel guide for our roadtrip this weekend.

From İstanbul to Bandırma with the Seabus…

Personally I hate travelling on the sea. It is not fear but rather respect to the water. Water is unkindly powerful and could make me vanish in a second if it wanted to.

Yesterday I had to go to Bandırma and as I did not really wanted to drive, I decided to take the seabus. Keeping the conditions of the normal city liners in my mind (they are great, so lovely but rather old, let’s be honest on that!), I was not really expecting much from the seabus. All in all it is a two hours journey.

It’s a small world

Last Autumn, my wife and I were walking in a place called the Grove in Hollywood (California). The Grove is much like Taksim- no cars, only walking, full of shops, restaurants, and movie theaters. But unlike Taksim, the Grove is just a few years old and everything is artificial, with absolutely no history. We walk around the corner by the Apple Store and bump! We walk straight into Turkey’s most famous popstar, Tarkan. He was as surprised to hear 2 merhabas, as we were to see him a universe away from Turkey. We chat a bit, trade numbers, then call our nieces and nephews in Turkey about our brush with fame. And by the way, he’s a nice guy too.

Meet me at Kizilkayalar Hamburger

3 times this past week, I’ve met friends in front of the Burger King on Istiklal Caddesi. It’s a great place to meet- everyone knows where it is- the Burger King name is pounded into the heads of nearly everyone on the planet.

to rakı or not to rakı

Recently i’ve been thinking about writing on the subject Raki, though its history is easy to find for the curious mind. So i’ve decided to focus on how to drink it, as every liquor has its own ritual. But then again, there are many ways of consuming Raki as many as the people who consume it. (For instance, during my first experiences drinking the brew, due to the heavy smell of anise, i had preferred drinking it without water. As i got used to, i started to pour water and then add my ice cubes.) I am not an expert on the matter so I am going to paraphrase an expert.


now, we are all wanderers on net, searching among the blogs of cities or digging the city for the stories to blog… hmm, at the moment, it is certain that i am not a storyteller, good for you. however, if you stay for a while (a lifetime for instance) in this city, it will be shame if you don’t read a line from sait faik. you can visit princes’ islands (adalar in turkish,) or get a nice shot from raki (not a suitable drink choice for stallone of course.) that’s ok but still you don’t know anything about the other side of istanbul, you didn’t hear the whisper, mew of the most well-known short story writer. sait faik , the firend of seagulls as fans call him, wrote about the underdog, the common, the ordinary people in istanbul with an ironic poetical sense.

sleeping in the forest – sait faik (maybe you should check out the bookstores, if you are anti- online-shopping-person, greenhouse on anatolian side or robinson crusoe, pandora bookstores on european side.)

Texas-size bus stops

I was a bit surprised to see Clear Channel’s logo on several Istanbul bus stops recently. I used to think Istanbul was a long way from Texas (how silly of me).

f1’06 istanbul offically announced

it’s offically announced by the fia, formula one racing governing body that the trophy in istanbul will be held on august 25-26-27, 2006. hmm, we have six months left to the 2006 formula 1 turkish grand prix but only four days to receive a 15% discount on tickets, it ends 28 feb. well, you heard this from istanbul metroblog so please do not hesitate to give an extra ticket as a present to me… just kidding, we are footballers, how can you call it “sport” if you don’t even score?

ATM scams

Beware of your your next withdrawal from an ATM machine. We were in Eminonu last week, about to take cash from the Garanti ATM (just the other side of the tunnel walkway) and I noticed the card just didn’t feel right going into the machine.

Taksim with trees

Some Istanbul clips from the past year- some old and some from this week. Remember when Taksim had trees?!

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