Mai 2008

Today's Quote

Please hold me close and whisper that you love me
And promise that your dreams are only of me
When you are near, everything’s clear
Earth is a beautiful heaven
Always I hope that we follow the star
And be forever floating above

I know a falling star can’t fall forever
But let’s never stop falling in love

Taken from the absolutly wonderful "Let's never stop falling in Love" from Pink Martini.

Back from Istanbul

As I wrote in an earlier post, I had to go to Turkey for a business trip. At first I was a little bit scared. Foreign culture and all that stuff. But now that I'm back I must say it was a real pleasure. And our business partners were very nice. We spent most of the time with two people from the Turkish company we were visiting, and they also invited us for dinner every night and showed us the beautiful city after work.

I took many pictures, but with my cell phone. But my co-worker took some with his camera and he will send them to me. I might publish some more as soon as I get his.

On the first and second picture you can see the area where our hotel was. And here we also had our first lunch, and the first traditional Turkish food. Yummy!

I had eggplants and Kebab (like turkish BBQ). For dessert we had candied fruits with a very thick and sweet milk cream. At least I thought it were fruits. But it turned out it were candied olives, eggplants and tomatoes. And also candied whole walnuts (with the shell, by the way. Yes, you can eat it when it's candied).

Then we drove to the Bosporus and had a coffee at this place. By that time we and our host were still like strangers. You know, these awkward silent moments when you think you should say something, but can't figure out what.

But that changed very soon. On the next picture you can see Hüseyin and Gökçe. They were our fantastic hosts and the people in the Turkish company we discussed everything. After a short while they felt like very good and close friends. They were really amazing.
Our workdays were very productive and efficient, but after work they were like good friends.

Here we went out together with their friends, and I'm fortune telling to Osman by reading his coffee grounds. It was a very funny evening and we laughed so much that my cheeks were hurting.

Ok, some tourist stuff. This is inside Hagia Sofia (Ayasofya Camii Müzesi). 1400 years ago it was the most important ortodox christian church, later it was the most important islamic mosque. And today it's a museum. It was the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years, until the completion of the Medieval Seville Cathedral in 1520.

Inside Hagia Sofia you can find Christian and Islamic symbols, which looks quite uncommon. Here for example a mosaic with huge parts made of gold.

This is Hagia Sofia from outside. Unfortunately it was raining that day.

This is inside the Blue Mosque, which is also quite famous for Istanbul, but it's still a mosque.

This is outside of Blue Mosque.

This is Blue Mosque from a distance.

That was the view from my hotel room in Kadiköy, which is on the Asian part of Istanbul. Istanbul is the only big city that is on two continents. Our hotel was on the Arabic part, not the European.

This is a famous breakfast area in Istanbul. At least that's what Hüseyin said. We had a very nice brunch on Saturday right at the sea, together with some friends of our hosts.

This was on the market. Which was also very impressive.

Here is a picture from another part of the town.

It was a very pleasant trip and we had a fabulous time (well, except the sweet custard-like dessert that also contained chicken breasts, called Kazandibi). In fact, they want me to come down for two weeks in May to finish the project. And I'm actually really looking forward to that. I hope it's gonna happen. They also tried to hire me for good. "Write down what you want. House, car, office, ... you'll get it". I was laughing. "That's not a joke. I'm serious. Just write it down ..."