Archive for September, 2006

Tapped Out

Coming from our Southwest background…we know the value of water. At least we know how high the Southern California water bills can be. Rules governing the watering of lawns, running of fountains, or washing of cars are the norm.

Our Local Kazasker Water Stop

We haven’t been in Istanbul long enough to know the ins and outs of the aqua gods…but this city is centered on, around, and within, “things water”. We have heard some amazing tales, both historical and current, of the infamous water shortages that seem to be so common in this chaotic conurbation. Just a few days ago reports were dispatched of an upscale village close by that had been without water for 10 weeks. It seemed that it was only a matter of time before we faced the same predicament.
So…when the water pressure suddenly dropped while I was showering, I called out the alarm, and the crew sprang into action filling every available container with whatever they could eek out of the dwindling taps. I wanted to be a part of this familial effort to horde water….but, unfortunately, I had other, more immediate, quests to pursue (I had just reached the heights of sudsville when the water had begun to dwindle and was not looking forward to being stranded with soapy nethers). Ten minutes later the last droplets fell into the waiting containers and the taps gurgled, gasped, clattered, and then grew silent.

IMG_3456.JPG The Horde

Free of most of the lime that had been sticking to my form; I quickly dressed and headed out and up the hill to see if we could find a few extra bottles of drinking water at a late night Tekel shop. Arriving home with 3 gallons of water to spare, we were greeted by the sound of the same flowing freely from the faucets.
It seemed our shortage was only to last for an hour. Dripping wet from our hike to the shop I jumped back in the shower…surprised? Don’t be…It seems there’s plenty of water to go round.

Radical Imagery on the Istanbul Streets (1)


I know few people really look at those affiches or posters hung around on the walls or similar places. If they are related to entertainment stuff, then they might get more attention but I did not observe many people looking at/reading proganda material-


-Well, I have to check out what goes on the Istanbul walls, bilboards and all. In recent months, as one can guess, most of those propaganda stuff was related to Mideast crisis. So here I share some of the stuff I found recently. I am sure you were very curious about that:)


The Last Of The…


Full Moons…

That’s what I saw last Saturday at 6 o’clock in the morning when I lied on my bed.

I love double glazing windows: they triple an image: when I place candles in front of a double glazing glass, I get three candle flames. When there is a full moon in the sky, I see three full moons.

Three images: the moon, reflection of the moon, reflection of the reflection…
glossiest, glossy, dim….


Taxi Trends

Someday I am going to spend the time to taxi around “Taxis”. Istanbul’s Taxi fleet has got to have some of the best compositional cloth for commentary I have ever seen. There is a wealth of material to be worked on this subject.
Today, regrettably… I will procrastinate once again, and leave you with this unique tidbit to tease your thoughts.
Grabbing a taxi today I happened to get one of our newer models. The driver was proud of his car and watched us closely as we boarded with our parcels. He was pleased when I noticed the additional “Taxi” indicator he had mounted to the dash board.
He made sure that I was aware that he was the owner of “two such signs” one on the roof…and this one on the dash. It’s a nice sign, and the first one that I have ever seen installed on the inside of a taxi…..screwed firmly into place over a panel that has the words; “SRS AIRBAG“. Only in Istanbul.

Montreal School Shooting

Yesterday, a shoot out happened at a local school in Montreal. We would like to give our deepest sympathies to all our metblogs collegues and to everyone affected by this horrific incident.
Please read about this news on the Montreal Metroblogging website.

Beware of the September 18 traffic!

That is the next Monday and it is the first day of all pre-college schools. In order to ease Istanbul traffic, first timers, that is primary school first years, started this week- in fact that is not the main reason, but that can still be counted-
People in charge are declaring that they are taking care of that and all but I believe it might turn out to be like Tuesday’s Galatasaray game with Bordeaux. GS people invited their fans for days and they promised that all is taken care of and there would be no traffic problem. Some of us just know well enough what happened. Today UEFA warned Galatasaray because of the traffic problem on the game day.

Anyway, my point is that one should be careful about the Monday morning. All Istanbulites will be on the street for one reason or another. Today my colleages were discussing to come to work very early. Like leaving their apartments around 6 am. But then what are they gonna do in their offices at 6:30 something? [they live in Asian side of Istanbul and our campus is in the European side] So I thought maybe we could have a party. We have some wine in the stock already. That wasn’t accepted though. And people don’t believe I can make at that time:(

This warning is all for you dears, I live by 10 minute walk away from my work. I myself won’t have traffic problem but because of proximity I sure know I will be a little late while trying to exploit every minute I supposedly have as bonus time…

Turkish Medicine

Being sick anywhere is a bummer….but my first malaise in Istanbul has opened new avenues through which I am ambling. I have been a bit under the weather the last few days…On Saturday I felt so bad I thought I was going to die…and by Sunday I was afraid I wasn’t. Since then it has leveled into a consistent state of misery with occasional bouts of despair…until today.
Our doorbell (a Duo Chime 2000) rang this afternoon and I heard the sound of a neighbor making her way past my wife and down towards my room. Before I knew it, she walked through my bedroom door with a mission to accomplish and armed with lemon cologne and an intimidating determination. Commanded to sit in a chair, I obeyed while she dowsed my cranium with cologne and began to compress the sides of my head trying (or so it seemed) to invent a new form of osmosis.
With her chin bearing down on the top of my skull, she began to use all 90lbs of her weight to press my temples together…I heard something crack (not a “good” cracking sound), my eyes bulged, and something snapped. This seemed to make her happy and she went to work pulling my hair out by its roots and wrapped up the whole process with successfully shifting the skin from my forehead to somewhere below my chin. She smiled, patted me on the back, packed up her bottle of cologne and headed out.
I don’t know what she did…but this little lady from Istanbul worked magic. While my feet are still not firmly on the ground, the tide has turned, the weather has changed, and I am smiling again….or will as soon as my lips work their way back to my mouth.
Yet again, these wonderful people called Turks…have saved me with their kindness.

Museum – Now!

The beauty of private museums and exhibition halls in Taksim is that they mostly have free entrence. And since Taksim is Taksim we all stumble around outside them all the time. Just a couple of days ago I revisited Yapi Kredi Vedat Nedim Tör Müzesi and Pera Museum. You have to go there to. I will now tell you why.

Weather Gods

IMG_3479.JPG Views West

We have had some beautiful days in Istanbul the last week or so…the kind of weather that makes you glad you live on this side of the world. We have been treated to some amazingly blue skies, smog-less views and incredible sunsets.
However, I am surprised that no one has remembered to thank me for the delightful change in our local Istanbul clime. You remember just a few weeks ago the soaring temps and saturating heat….right? Well, I am humbled to say that I had a small part in making things cooler.
After several sleepless nights with our inside temps well into the 90’s (our little apartment is solar friendly)….I finally went out and popped for an air conditioner. It was two days before the installation crew arrived to install our new unit….and an hour after they finished and turned it on….the weather shifted, things cooled off delightfully, and we haven’t needed the new A/C since. It seems the Weather Gods are frisky.
So…let’s consider this one on me…next August somebody else is gonna have to pick up the tab.

Have you been to IKEA ?

‘Cause I have.
This Saturday we decided with a friend to be courageous and go to IKEA to check out the huge store that’s on the other side of the world for me. It’s not that far from where I live especially since I only need to catch two different buses to get there but it still was annoying to get to (even though the second bus drops you right in front.) We jumped on a bus from Mecidiyekoy and even though there was a little traffic on the bridge, we ended up at IKEA half an hour later.

When you enter the IKEA, you get greeted by a team of IKEAiens that want you to have a pencil and a little paper pamphlet and a little measuring thingy and the famous yellow bag. Ahhh the yellow bag.. anyway.
Saturday seemed to be a good day to go, it was busy but not too busy. Then again I’m used to the extra huge IKEAs in Europe so it’s really not comparable since this one was rather small compared to the others.

When you go to IKEA, could I advice you to go there already knowing what you want to buy? If you don’t, you walk around for hours, aimlessly, trying to dodge the hord of people who are too busy pretending to know what they or that push their pram towards you in an effort to make you move out of their way. No way is your way, it’s all their way. We probably checked out every area of the shop. Since it was smaller than the others, it didn’t take us that long, just an average of 1.5hrs. Seeing the familiar IKEA products made me smile, it reminded me of Belgium a lot. Once we were done drooling over the toys and colored pens in the children’s section, we stopped at the food court which obviously was very nice, I’ve always liked the food they serve, especially when I get salmon.

The cooked salmon was 6YTL, the smoked salmon dish was 6.50YTL, if you want a soft drink that’s 1YTL for the first glass and the rest are for free. The food court was very very busy but we managed to throw ourselves down on a table in the non smoking area. People didn’t really seem to care if it was smoking or non smoking area though, they just seemed to smoke wherever they saw fit. We are after all in Turkey. Once we finished having our food we headed for the ground floor where you can find kitchen and bathroom utensils, gardening utilities etc.
After getting all we needed we headed for the cash registers, which were over packed as you’d imagine. Ten minutes later I had purchased for 7YTL a salad bowl, a living bamboo stick, a vase for the bamboo stick and 10 Swedish lollypops. They have this food supermarket at the entrance of the shop who sells all things Swedish (cookies, frozen cakes, jams etc..). I wanted to get jam but it seems that they were packed with more sugar than fruit so I decided against getting anything at all.
All in all, the IKEA in Istanbul is small but cute, a must see for all of those who like all things IKEAish.

IKEA Istanbul
Çakmak Mahallesi No: 243 Tepeüstü Mevkii
34768 Ümraniye-İstanbul
10AM-22PM 7 days a week.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.