Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Summers In Mersin Mean...

- Heat and humidity all of the day and most of the night

- Deliciously fresh cherries, apricots, watermelons, peaches and melons

- Being disturbed at 6 in the morning by the rubbish truck consuming its load

- Beautifully-shaped ladies everywhere one looks

- Thousands of people relaxing in the city parks until late every night

- Escapes to the summer houses down the coast and up in the mountains

- Beachside outdoor nightclubs pumping out the latest Turkish and Western hits

- Terrible body odour, especially on the crowded buses and trains

- Many German, Dutch, French and other European number-plated cars belonging to folks returning to their homeland for holidays

- Boys swimming in the polluted city bay sea

- People wearing shorts (rarely winessed outside the beach in all but the hottest weather)

- Ice cream!

- And, this year, political campaigning for the 2007 Turkish general election

PS: cryptic types may have noticed something unusual about the post title: by moving a space, one can make the following word sequence:

sum mersin mersin mean

The place name 'mersin' is written twice in a row and surrounded by two of the most important statistical terms: sum and mean


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Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Loggerhead Turtles Return To Nest At Mezitli

I'm surprised and gladdened to read that loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) are now nesting on Mezitli beach, just a short distance down the coast from Mersin.

I would have thought Mezitli was too polluted by the untreated sewage flow that blights Mersin's bay. Indeed, when I used to live at Mezitli, few people swam there because of the pollution.

When I next go to Mezitli I will keep my eyes peeled for the turtles. Besides birds, there is very little evidence of wildlife around Mersin.



Thursday, 12 April 2007

Catching Up

Events of the past 3 or so months:

- Toroslar Belediyesi, one of the 3 local suburban Mersin councils painted a 4,500 square metre flag on the side of a hill overlooking Mersin. As this editorial concludes, the flag was a piece of self-promotion. Unfortunately, all levels of government waste far too much money promoting themselves at the expense of decent services.

The flag in question

- Plans for a ski resort at Karbogazi in the Gulek region of Tarsus, Mersin Province were made.

- Hungarian DJ Niki Belucci performed at Hot Nightclub, Mersin. Not Safe For Work (NSFW) photos can be seen here and here.

- Southern Turkey's "drought" of 2 months broke.

- Today's Zaman, a new English language daily newspaper began publication in Turkey.

- Hrank Dink, a Turkish journalist of Armenian origin, was shot dead in Istanbul. This incident shook the whole country. Here is an editorial surrounding the incident I largely agree with.

- An American basketballer, Nikki Blue, shared her experiences living in and playing for Mersin

- I went to the Adana races with Peter. This was my first ever day at a Turkish race meeting. I didn't win any bets.

- Vodafone has quickly taken over Telsim's name after purchasing the mobile phone service provider.

- After seemingly years under construction, the multi-storey Marina Vista Shopping Centre opened in Mersin. Located next to Burger King and adjacent to the yacht harbour, Marina Vista is in a very good position. The centre was opened prematurely with most of the spaces then still vacant. That is slowly changing. The top floor has a 4-screen cinema and below that is a food hall including a McDonald's restaurant. McDonald's has not had a Mersin presence for 3 or 4 years. When I first came here there were two restaurants, including one I went to for my second ever Turkish date (she chose the venue).

- The Mediterranean Challenge Cup international tenpin bowling tournament was held at Mersin Rollhouse.

- Peter, Sebi, Tugba, Mehmet and I attended Foster's Party at the Armada Club.

- Pearl Jam announce their 2007 European tour. Unlike last year, this time I won't be attending.

- The cost for an adult to take an intra-city Mersin bus ride rose from 1 YTL to 1.25 YTL.


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Wednesday, 10 January 2007

I'm Back

I returned to Mersin, Turkey, a week or so ago. At some stage soon I'll get around to posting photos of both the wedding and Pakistan in general.



Thursday, 7 December 2006

Mersin And Turkey Links And News Stories

Below are some stories I had bookmarked earlier but only now got around to posting:

- Turkey's senior women's soccer team defeated Northern Ireland in Mersin as part of their EURO 2009 qualifying

- An Ak Party member of the Turkish Parliament from Mersin redefines the definition of political cowboy

- An Islamic version of creationism is being heavily pushed by mysterious forces in Turkey

- 2 women journalists arrested in Mersin were finally released after being held for 9 months

- Mersin Sosyete (Mersin Society), a well designed local entertainment portal opened in the summer although I only noticed it recently

- For your viewing pleasure, a video showing some of Mersin Province's highlights:


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Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Mersin Motor Show 2006

On Sunday the 26th of November I borrowed Levent's bike and rode down the coast with Peter and Michael Can to the new Marina complex for the Mersin Car, Commercial Vehicle and Motorcycle Fair (Mersin Otomobil, Ticari Araclar ve Motosiklet Fuari). The weather was brilliant - sunny and mild, like most of the past month.

2.50 YTL each later we were inside the exhibition. As the names suggests, the fair was divided into 3 sections: motorbikes, commercial vehicles and cars.

MOFO'6 sounds better than MOF'06 (Mersin Oto Fuari 2006), doesn't it?

Peter and Michael Can's dream family bike

Earlier this year, Mersin's government-run bus system entered the 20th century, introducing new buses containing electronic signs and air conditioning.

A slightly better sound system than my 1979 Chrysler Sigma's (R.I.P.) AM radio

I heartily endorse Coskun's automotive supplies and services. To get this photo I played the foreigner card :-)

Looking down the car hall

No Ferraris, Rolls Royces or Lamborghinis were on display but EUR 178,000 for a Mercedes 4WD is still impressive.

I don't know how effective this backdrop for the Skoda display was

Peter accidentally set off this Ford's car alarm

The gorgeous sunset, automobile style

Overall, a great day, except...

Part of the way home, we stopped at the park next to Cep Sinemasi for a kick of soccer. Unfortunately, at some stage my Canon A710 sustained damage to the lens cover. The camera is now at the Canon service centre in Istanbul and I'm waiting to find out how much the repair will damage my wallet. In theory, the replacement lens cover part should only cost a few cents. An alternative option is to fly to the US and get the camera repaired under warranty. However, the return flight maybe more expensive than the repair in Istanbul.


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Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Chinese Cabbage Sighted

I saw Chinese cabbage ('Cin Lanasi') in Mersin for the first ever today, at the weekly fruit and vegetable bazaar ('pazar') outside the stadium. As my fridge is full, I didn't buy a monster 3 kg cabbage but my boss did and I took a quarter of his. Bring on the stir fries and salads...yum!


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Sunday, 26 November 2006

Yves Larock Live At The Armada, Mersin, Turkey, 25 November 2006

This week, the above poster advertising Yves Larock 'Africanism' was plastered around Mersin. What caught my eye was the fact Yves Larock obviously was not a Turkish act, and, judging by the 'CH' on the poster, probably came from Switzerland.

Last night, after some umming and erring, flatmate Levent and I decided to go. The Armada is a new (opened this year) multi-purpose venue located on the coast east of the Hilton Hotel. Earlier in the day, a workmate called The Armada to see if males without female company could enter. A common policy in Turkey for decent nightspots is to bar single or groups of males. In typical Turkish fashion, the answer was 'maybe'.

The bouncers did accept our 20 YTL and we were allowed in. A decent crowd (500?) was in attendance, and, although not completely full, it made a perfect fit. Following a mix of Turkish and foreign dance music, Yves Larock came on after midnight. With the theme 'Africanism' on his posters, I was expecting more tribal music, than the house he played. As a person who has not been to a real disco for a long time, I did not care about semantics. Neither did Levent. We enjoyed grooving on the dancefloor almost continuously for more than 3 hours.

The great light and smoke show complemented the music. Sometimes the machine smoke was so thick the visibility was zero. The tobacco smoke also hung around.

Last night reminded me of my escapades at The Planet nightclub in Adelaide several years ago. The number of people of Mediterranean origin was the same, althought there were no broken glasses underfoot at The Armada, only cigarette butts.

By 2:30 I had tired and was ready to leave, although Levent, with the combination of raki and beer in his veins, wanted to keep going.

After 3 am we left and walked into town to Haci Baba Restaurant. I ate kelle-paca corbasi (sheep's head and feet soup) whilst Levent settled for mercimek corbasi (lentil soup).

After a great night, at 4:45 am I collapsed asleep in bed.

Reading Yves Larock's website this morning, I see that the Mersin gig was his only performance in Turkey. He came to Turkey just to perform in Mersin!!!! He must have a Mersin girlfriend, know The Armada owner or something...


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Thursday, 23 November 2006

A Funny Restaurant Sign

This restaurant sign is displayed outside the 'Antik Han' complex in Mersin's centre. It is obviously aimed at the sailors coming off the nearby port's ships.



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