Monday, 27 February 2006

An Adelaide Wireless Post

G'day from a Rundle Street Cafe where I am using wireless internet on my new laptop for the first time. I received my new baby Saturday when I returned from a trip visiting relatives in Thevenard, Port Lincoln and Clare.

Yesterday I gave a presentation on Turkey to the local Turkish Association.

I promise to write much more and upload pictures from Dubai, Muscat and Australia at some stage in the future. It probably won't occur until I return to Turkey as I have a pretty full schedule until then.

Monday, 13 February 2006

Hello From Melbourne Airport

It's 3am here and I have another 6 hours until my flight to Adelaide departs.

Macca's (the Scottish hamburger chain) is the only place open and I have enjoyed a coffee from there to keep me awake. I would have preferred a Turkish or Arabic coffee but I came to Australia to experience new things :)

I'm wide-eyed from a combination of extreme tiredness and awe at the fact I'm in Australia. It feels weird.

The Emirates Airlines flight from Dubai briefly stopped in Singapore. The flight from Singapore was somewhat turbulent although the food was excellent and the company, in Sharee the Egyptian-Australian and Chris the Welsh backpacker, was enjoyable.

I'm now looking forward to meeting my family in Adelaide, particularly Breandan my 5 year old nephew and Eilish my 7 year old niece. However, I still have a long wait and 5th flight to catch before this occurs.

Saturday, 11 February 2006

Dubai and Muscat

This afternoon I arrived back in Dubai after a couple of days in Muscat, Oman.

Both places are great and I thank Nermeen in Dubai and Susan in Muscat for their hospitality. 02:45 tomorrow morning I'm jumping on the plane back to Oz.

I will write much more about Dubai and Muscat and post photos when I have more time.

Tuesday, 7 February 2006

Ironies And Coincidences From Istanbul To Dubai

Hi from the warm, multicultural, English-speaking, desert city of Dubai!

Here are a few ironies and coincidences surrounding the Emirates flight from Istanbul to Dubai:

a) The chicken (as opposed to the lamb) dinner was very popular on the plane. Popular enough for Emirates to run out of it. In Turkey, the flight origin country, people hardly touch chicken due to bird flu paranoia.

b) The plane flew over Adana, the city I originally flew from to catch this flight.

c) A saw the Australian film Moulin Rouge for the first time ever. This journey will eventually take me to Australia.

d) In Istanbul Airport duty free I bought Danish vodka. I did not make the Danish cartoon controversy connection until I read about the burning of the Danish Embassy in Beirut on the in-flight television.

Sunday, 5 February 2006

Istanbul In Transit

Hi from a beautiful, sunny and smoggy istanbul. Very little ice remains from the earlier bad weather and the streets are bustling with people.

This morning I flew AtlasJet from Adana.

AtlasJet, along with Onur Air and Pegasus Airlines are the three private discount airlines competing with government-owned full-service carrier Turkish Airlines on the Adana-Istanbul route.

I chose to fly with AtlasJet as they have a very convenient free airport transfer service to and from Mersin.

When I first came to Turkey in 2001 Turkish Airlines was the only choice. Its only only competitor Istanbul Airways bankrupted when Turkey's economy collapsed at the end of last century.

Most of the 200 or so other passengers were army conscripts on their way from serving in the army in Antakya to Istanbul for a week's holiday. Adana Airport was chaotic and needs to be extended and renovated to cater for the increasing passenger numbers.

Adelaide and Adana not only are close together in the dictionary but they also have similar tinshed airports. I hope Adelaide Airport's new terminal is ready before I depart the city in early March.

Although AtlasJet is a discounted airline, the hostesses still served a cheese roll and a drink, reminding me of Turkish intercity buses. The irony of this is when I first came to Turkey, the service provided by Turkish intercity bus service reminded me of flying!

Snow was visible on the ground most of the way, reflecting the past couple of months' cold weather.

Cold weather will be just a memory as my next destination is the Persian Gulf country, the United Arab Emirates.

Saturday, 4 February 2006

Dubai, Muscat and Australia: See You Soon!

Tomorrow morning I'm on the plane to Adelaide via Istanbul (air), Dubai (air), Muscat (land), Singapore (air) and Melbourne (air). 5 flights in total.

This will be my initial visit to both the United Arab Emirates and Oman and my first ever holiday to Australia.

Planned Schedule
06-08 Feb: Dubai
09-10 Feb: Muscat
11 Feb: Dubai
12 Feb: In the air
13-19 Feb: Adelaide
20-25 Feb: Thevenard & Port Lincoln
26 Feb-03 Mar: Adelaide
05 Mar: Back to Mersin

My last time in Australia was June 2003. I have been away from Australia for almost half on nephew Breandan's life.

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