Would your kids want to do this? These 2 boys were such troopers, here am I forcing them to be culture vultures like me. This trip was a tough one, we hiked, ate strange foods, visited a place where no English was spoken and we have no Turkish language skills. They devoured the guide book and tried to learn as many Turkish words as they could and I learned a lot more Turkish words too through their effort. We could do 1 to 10 in Turkish. We could say 'tessekuler' (thank you) and 'hos cakal' (good bye). We attracted a lot of attention everywhere we went. The locals have never seen oriental people before.
These are my nephews, sons of my sister and they are 19 and 22. They were a joy to travel with.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
I came back and plunged into work. My laptop ran out space for more photos and I've been deleting the old ones to make room for the new. Finally I made enough room to upload some pictures.
Friday, June 24, 2011
I,ll gıve anythıng for some coffee and a slıce of chocolate cake and a Western keyboard. Turkısh ıs dıfferent from Englısh and I,m strugglıng. I,d gıve anythıng to sleep ın my own bed. I,d gıve anythıng to be able to communıcate ın Englısh. Thank God for the Internet. Cay (tea) ıs good but I need my coffee and not the Nescafe stuff. Anyway I,ll soon be home.
Hey, I actually can gırıs yepın (sıgn ın) from thıs computer at an Internet cafe ın Trabzon. Today ıs our last day, we leave tomorrow for home. It has been an ıncredıble trıp but we are ready to go home. We arrıved back ın Trabzon from Yusufelı yesterday, a very long 7 hour bus rıde. So thıs trıp took us startıng ın Trabzon, to Eszurum, Kars and Yusufelı. We were not supposed to be ın Yusufelı but we met a local guıde ın Kars whose name was mentıoned ın Lonely Planet guıde to Turkey, he saıd Yusufelı would be a better choıce. So we made a detour supposedly for one day but we lıked ıt so much we stayed 2 days. Yusufelı ıs a very rural place but there are more Western tourısts here than ın any other place that we have been on thıs trıp. They come for whıte water raftıng. We came for the old Georgıan churches, saw 2 of them. The fırst was Ishan, ıt ıs our favorıte,ıt ıs so beautıfl even though ıt ıs ın ruıns. The second we had to hıke 14 km to get to, half way we hıtched a rıde. Hıtchıng ıs very common ın these parts. Whıle ın Kars we went to Anı at the Turkısh- Armenıan border. It ıs a mystıcal and hauntıng place wıth a few old Armenıan churches and they were so beautıful. On our fırst day ın Trabzon we went to the Aya Sofıa church, now a museum. It was buılt by the almost last Byzantıne emperors, the Comenous famıly. I stıll has some wonderful frescoes. I went back by myself thıs mornıng to take more pıctures, to medıtate, to pray and to sketch.
Thıs has been a magıcal trıp, so spırıtual.
Thıs has been a magıcal trıp, so spırıtual.
Monday, June 20, 2011
I would like to take this train again because there are still more little places that I didn't get to. So many places, so little time.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
The other beauty about Nice is the availability of buses and trains to most parts of Europe and to the out lying areas of Provence. I took the TGV to Avignon and from Avignon, took the trains to Marseilles, Arles and Aix en Provence. The trains also goes to the cute little villages that dot the border between France and Italy. The bus or train will let you off right in the middle of Monaco. It's amazing. I love Nice.It is so easy to get around in and around Nice.
It was my early forays in independent traveling and the thrill continues till today. I felt like MFK Fischer or Patricia Wells..... (I'm kidding).
I am ın Eszurum rıght now. It ıs so beautıful. I thought the wıld flowers ın the Peloponnese was awsome tıll I came here. There ıs so much more of wıld flowers here beacuse of the vast open spaces. The people here are proud of theır cıty. `Eszurum ın summer ıs beautıful´they tell me and ıt ıs. We leave for Kars tomorrow. We dıdn,t see too many vısıtors hereş just a very few. We are eatıng a lot, tryıng all kınds of food.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
In my job, I've been the preceptor for many intern Pharmacists and they run the gamut of characters. The most important feature is, they don't have what it takes, they are not tough enough. Considering the jobs are so tough, the only way to handle it is to be tougher than the job. I had a recent case of a staff pharmacist who was paid a huge sign on bonus to work in my store, he quit after 3 months. Mind you, I built this store up, created the jobs, even created his job, I didn't get any bonus. Each year at this time I meet college graduates and I wonder if they'll make it.
In my travels I see a lot of misery in other countries and I am appreciative of the opportunities I still have in the USA. Each time I feel discouraged at work, I think of the poor people I met in Cairo, in Morocco, in China and so many other places, I put a lid on my own misery and go on....
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
I am sad that I can't go to Syria or Libya right now. These places holds some of the world's most treasured antiquities.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Saturday, June 11, 2011
They live in New Jersey and we are meeting at New York's JFK. I have to fly to New York. I'm not looking forward to three flights but I try not to think about it.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Thursday, June 09, 2011
I work hard for what I have and I'm not going to fall over and be taken advantage of, whether in this country or anywhere in the world. I'm not going to go down without a fight. Even as I travel and am carefree, I am very cautious at the same time.
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
One important I learned while traveling in Turkey, when you are not near a money changer, you can go to a goldsmith, they will take your Euros or your US dollars in exchange for Turkish Liras. They need hard currency to buy gold. It is easy to find money changers in Istanbul but when you are in the smaller villages it could be hard and AT M's are difficult to find also. Goldsmiths are plentiful all over the world. Gold is traditionally a form of investment among villagers all over the world. Suddenly I've become interested in gold. I wished I was interested in gold sooner, I would have bought gold at a much lowere price. The price of gold has skyrocketed and it's only going to go up. I'm sure if I traveled with a few gold coins I would do just fine.