Turkey – the country

I am in Turkey right now for a manufacturing equipment trade show to check out some European machinery for Cosworth. This would be my first trip to the European continent. It was a 16.5 hour flight with a stop in New York. FUCK, it seemed like I was on the plane forever. My ipod battery lasted the entire way though. I didn’t think it would last 15 hours.

Anyhow, Turkey is an emerging country that is just moving out of it’s traditional ways. Let’s say it’s a “2nd world” country. There are many luxuries of the western world, but there’s that general feel of the city being one giant outdoor market. There are virtually no traffic laws so it’s pure chaos on the streets. You don’t want to drink water out of the tap. Everybody tells me to look out for pick pockets and to calculate everything in a cash transaction because people will try to jack you since there are 3 currencies in use here: new turkish lira, euros, and US dollars. US dollars is not an official currency here, but anybody will take it. So if you are paying a taxi driver or dealing with a smaller store, they will tell you a price and when you whip out whatever currency you have and start counting, they might say “no, sorry that was Euros” (if you bust out the lira). Then they will tell you some new number to throw you off. If there’s a line of people behind you, you will make the mistake of not wanting to hold everybody up and just paying the guy. If you cruise around at night by yourself (and you are a guy), there are guys that will hit you up and ask you if you want to have some “fun”. I asked somebody about that and they are basically pimps that will hook you up with a Russian hooker. I was also told that most of these hookers aren’t all that because the hot ones get picked up by rich dudes and gangsters. That same somebody said that if you start talking to somebody and they are really cool and they ask you to go have a drink at a bar, DO NOT GO. My friend said that if you start drinking with your new “friend” that the bill will be like $400 because they will make an arrangement with the bar tender (in Turkish) to jack your ass. So you know what I mean by one big giant outdoor market now. I’m sure if you do tourist shit and stay in the tourist areas, you’ll be cool. I’m not hangin out with tourists so I’m getting the real deal Turkey here.

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Pure madness on the roads…..

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View from my cheap ass hotel room (38 euros per night).

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Ever wonder what Turkish food is? I did too. Here’s a lunch type of meal. It’s basically a beef stew. It’s pretty tasty, but the bread is FUCKING GREAT. The Turks eat a lot of bread. I guess they really know how to make the shit good.

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Here’s me after a 16 hour flight and a day at the trade show.

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Here’s me after a good night’s sleep via 2 Tylenol PM shot of Nyquil.

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Nobody has north american adapters here. NOBODY. I Macguyver’d a water heater and rigged it so I could keep contact with the north american 110v plug. Or else I wouldn’t be using my laptop right now.

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