Saturday, 29 September 2007

Port Versus Geelong In The 2007 AFL Grand Final

My legs are still sore from the soccer game I played 2 nights ago. It was my first ever game wearing the flat-soled soccer boots commonly used in Turkey and my first semi-organised game since Gaziantep in 2001. Stuff the soccer for a moment.

The real football begins tomorrow morning, 07:30 am Turkish time, when underdogs Port Adelaide (my team) takes on the overwhelming favourites Geelong in the 2007 AFL Grand Final.

In 2004 I watched Port Adelaide win their first AFL premiership here in Mersin at a local cafe. Last year I saw the grand final at Peter's place on Fox Sports Turkey. This year I doubt I will have the opportunity to view the game and will have to make do with listening to it over the internet.

According to the AFL official website (pdf warning), Eurosport (a channel available in Turkey through Digiturk) will show the grand final on delay. It is not on tomorrow's schedule so I don't know when the game will be shown. Hopefully, it will be worth watching wherever you are with Port getting up in a classic encounter... I will also accept Port winning in a less than classic game :-)

UPDATE (2007-09-29): Tonight's Galatasaray-Besiktas match looks interesting doesn't it? Did I ever tell you how much I loved soccer? ;-)

Thank goodness I couldn't watch the AFL final. The song title that comes to mind is Pure Massacre by Silverchair. Geelong beat Port by a grand final record 119 points (1 point less than 20 goals). At least I can ignore aftermath until I return to Australia in two weeks.



One Week To Go

Thank you to my friends and family for all your comments, emails, messages and calls. I am eventually getting around to following them up. In the meantime, I am packing and preparing to leave Mersin, saying goodbye to local friends and eating as much local food (tantuni, kokorec, kunefe, fistikli kadayif, etcetera) as I can handle. Adding to the expectancy of leaving, I paid for my flight today.

In one week I will be on the Mersin VIF overnight bus to Istanbul's main Esenler bus station from where I will take the metro direct to the Ataturk International Airport.

Prior to departure I hope to post several blog entries recalling my time in both Mersin and Turkey in general.


Thursday, 13 September 2007

Ramazan, the AIESEC International Congress Opening Ceremony 2007 and more

Several days ago I did start writing about the AIESEC International Congress Opening Ceremony (see below). I was also going to write about and upload pictures from the Alumni Congress; the inspirational people I heard and met; the parties; interacting with the current AIESECers from almost 100 countries around the world as well as other adventures in Istanbul. However, I have a cold and don't feel like it. I will write, though, that I am very much looking forward to celebrating AIESEC's 60th anniversary at the Alumni International Congress in Brazil, August 2008.

The holy Muslim month of Ramazan (Ramadan) started this evening (12 September) in Turkey. I knew it was coming up and didn't think much of it. Yes, some people would refrain from smoking, eating and drinking during the day and totally refrain from alcohol in the month, some restaurants would be closed and so-forth. However, it was not until this afternoon that I remembered the drummers would be in full force come the early morning--DAMN. Unfortunately, I doubt the proposed ban was enforced. In approximately 2 hours I will find out!

For more Ramazan/Ramadan stories check out nomadlife's Ramadan blog.

Very soon I will post a major update on life so stay tuned!

As promised, following is my incomplete AIESEC International Congress Opening Ceremony story:

International Congress (IC) is AIESEC's main international meeting, held in a different AIESEC member country each year. This year the 59th IC was in Istanbul, Turkey. The main congress location was Yeditepe University's main campus on Kayisdagi, Asian Istanbul with certain events held elsewhere. The congress was opened on Tuesday 21 August at the Lutfi Kirdar Congress Centre in Nisantasi, near Taksim, European Istanbul.

Speeches were given by Congress Committee President Ajda Mustafova, AIESEC Turkey Member Committee President Candost Bayraktar, AIESEC International President Gabriela Albescu, Hewlett Packard Executive Kathy Jackson, AIESEC Turkey's Board of Advisers Honorary President Nihat Gokyigit and Istanbul Greater City Mayor Nihat Gokyigit, along with 2 performances by Anadolu Atesi ('Fire of Anatolia') and Semazen ('Whirling Dervishes').


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