Tag Archives: Taksim

My Computer Oh Poo Poo

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Handle off mug

No matter where I go in the world, things happen. Sometimes good, sometimes bad.

Monday night after finishing the English NLP class with NLPGrup, I returned to the apartment in Taxim Tunel, and after a while at 8:30pm, I felt hungry, and decided to get my usual wrap from La Cantine. Plus I needed milk and some Cornflakes, for my breakfast.

On returning, climbing those steep stairs, I had nothing to, as others were out enjoying themselves, perhaps drinking, relaxing, maybe deciding to stay with friends overnight, leaving pets and their family to fend for themselves. I decided to watch the SlingBox TV system. (clink to find out more)

As I watched, I wanted a cup of tea, unusual me late at night, and I had one tea back left. I sat back and enjoyed a hot cup of tea, British style, with milk.

With half my cup of tea left in my hand, the handle, a metal handle collapsed, and the remaining cup fell to the table, and my computer, some of the liquid finding its’ way onto my computer keyboard.

Handle off mug

My heart beat at double the rate, I could feel it. My reaction was to say words not allowed on the internet, I had a vision of sick deer.

What do I do.

I had to keep calm, so Oh Poo Poo, came to mind.

So what could I do?

Nothing, it had happened I had to be calm to deal with the situation, my Oh Poo Poo helped me to quickly clean-up the mess, but my new computer. The keyboard was not working.

I went to bed, with my attention on Mustapha so that I would sleep, a hard day was to Tuesday, there was not point in crying over split milk, my computer keyboard was dead. I hope my insurance will cover the damage.

The next day, I cleaned more of those internal parts I could access, I do not wish to break and seals on the computer, these could invalidate the warranty or insurance policy.

I got most of the keys working, but not all.

Oh Poo Poo.

Not Again

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Golden Horn Bridge, Istanbul

The evening did not start well.

I walked down to the ferry terminal after a long day of training and having to cross the Bosphorus from Kadikoy to Beşitaş (Asian to European side of Istanbul), and saw the ferry at the quayside. I raced to the gate only to see it closing majestically with me on the wrong side, and I watched as the ferry glide out of the port.

Once back in Taxim Tunel, I brought a wrap from a little corner café, La Cantine, (now closed), run by a French couple, plus a freshly squeezed orange juice. I was to have a relaxing time, watching British TV on the computer internet through Slingbox.

Slingbox is a great device that plugs into the back of say a satellite or cable TV box, that is then connected to the inter net router at home. Through the inter net connection in whatever country I am in, I can access the Slingbox back home and watch British TV, not only that, I can control the channels I want to watch.

The apartment I am staying in is on the forth floor, with a spiral staircase. Now I am used to running up stairs, but these seem so steep, everyone that climbs those stairs, has to rest half way up. They are a killer.

Spiral Stairs, Tunel Flat, Istanbul

Spiral Stairs, Tunel Flat, Istanbul

I got to the door, gently holding my orange juice, my mouth watering at the prospect of eating my wrap. But the key would not turn.

Not three months earlier, I had returned back to the apartment to notice on the tough climb of the stairs, that there were pieces of metal laying by each flat door. I knew something was wrong.

On reaching my door, there was no point in trying to turn the key to open the door, there was no locking mechanism there, and the door was firmly shut and locked.

There was no-one in the whole building, I do not speak any Turkish. Oh Poo Poo. I called an ex employee who came to my aid, plus my translator Asu. We called a locksmith plus the police, only to find that yes we had been burgled. I had lost money, a camera.

Asuman Yildirim

Although I did not enjoy the experience, who would? I found the police here in Istanbul perhaps one of the most friendly I have encountered, even though we had to communicate via a translator.

The horror of that experience returned as I tried in vain to turn the key.

But I had Mustapha. I had the previous experience to draw upon. I called the same locksmith.

On his last visit he made sure that no-one would be able to break-in again. He was good, so good, that he took from 8:30 until 11:30pm to get in. That will teach him. Perfectionist. (Ho Ho). He had to used brute force.

Once in, it was realised that no-one had entered, it was the failure of the door locking gear. New door I think.

So by mid night I was in bed, knowing that 8am the next morning I would be picked up by car to get to the Eastern side to take the English language participants further along the process I do for easy learning.

8:10 am I get a phone call, asking if the car had arrived, as the person calling the General Manager of NLPGrup, Selva, could not reach the driver, his phone was off.

Only thing for it was to quickly catch the Tunel train and the ferry.

Walking down to the ferry terminal I passed under a bridge that crosses the water of the Golden Horn, and was amazed at the number of people standing on either side of the bridge fishing. There was not any spaces left. I would not like to sail a boat under that bridge. Looking around the Golden Horn, it seemed that the whole population of Istanbul had taken-up fishing.

Golden Horn Bridge, Istanbul

Golden Horn Bridge

There must be some great memory skills in Turkey.

As we sailed across the Bosphorus I sat in the cold morning air on the outside deck, the sea was awash was quite a swell, and as we entered each trough, the ferry created a spray of salt sea water, refreshing my face, my mind.

As we moored the other side, I noticed how clam the water became, and realised that was the state I was in. Very calm, whilst all about me was in turmoil.

We need to learn this art.

Saturday morning blues

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Last night was my last night of freedom in Istanbul, because Saturday morning I start the English course off with introductions and the formalities of attending the course.

So a walk up to Taxim Square. Mixing with the Friday night people, going out for a meal, a drink, just to be with friends.

Saturday morning, did not start well, with no water to the apartment, so no shower. The normal ferry I catch was not there, times of departure must change on a Saturday. I am ten minutes late for the course, and there is no translator. Get on with it, get the course started. I failed in my own standards, to be at the course at least half an hour before the start.

Although I was not a member of the Scouts, I wore long trousers not silly shorts, as I was in the Boys Brigade, I stand by their moto, Be Prepared. The Boys Brigade was “Sure and Steadfast”.

Ok, put a smile on my face, get in there and start the course, the participants are paying the bills and they expect the goods.

Friday, my last day of rest, Ho Ho

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Galata Tower from the Bosphorus
Yesterday, I had another lay-in, and then took the ferry to Kadikoy to the office/school to arrange the training courses for the rest of the year here in Turkey, and to have lunch in a small family run restaurant/café.

On my journey, I was able to watch people going about their day, some were in a hurry to get to meetings, some had nothing to do, some were tourists being overwhelmed by new sights and sounds.

La Cantine and Tunel Tram

La Cantine and Tunel Tram

They looked at the old tram which rumbles up and down Taxim Hill between Taxim Square and Tunel. A real old machines, lovingly maintained, which makes them a joy to ride.

Beside the tram stop a vendor sells the traditional Simit, a round ring of bread with I presume sesame seeds, the Turkish people love them, as there are vendors on every street corner, or you hear them shouting out for people to buy them as they balance a tray of the on their head, or you see them walking between the cars of the ever increasing traffic jams with simit’s strung on broom handles.

On my journey on the ferry to the Eastern side, I sat in the open stern, cold but enjoying the views of Istanbul. I look back to where we had just departed, as a young woman  threw pieces of Simit into the air for the hungry seagulls to pluck midair, to the masses of apartments perched on the step hills of Istanbul.

There, I say the Galata Tower. From 1348 this tower has dominated the skyline of Istanbul, originally known as the Tower of Christ, it was a lookout tower of the Genoese colony called Galata. this 12-storey construction once functioned as a jail for prisoners of war, a shipyard, a warehouse and a fire station. Today the Galata Tower is one of Istanbul’s major attractions, offering fantastic views of the city and its landmarks. It is said that, an Ottoman citizen, Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi was the first person to fly, launched himself from the tower and crossed the Bosphorus.

Galata Tower from the Bosphorus

Galata Tower from the Bosphorus

Gatalta Tower from the ferry, with seagulls      Gallata Tower or the Tower of Christ

Again as we crossed to the other side, I saw the trade of the world happening as ships moored at the quayside to unload their cargo, and take new containers of goods to the rest of the world.

The container port of Istanbul

Tugs pushed the massive vessels into the quayside as they tied up, large cranes towered over containers stacked high on the decks. I wonder what is inside each container?

I was cold but enjoyed being alive, seeing life as it happens.

The return home to Taxim, Tunel.

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NLPNOW

The time to leave the office/training facilities in Kadikoy, Istanbul came and I ventured into the cold afternoon to travel back to my accommodation in Taxim Tunel.

Taxim Square is if you like the Piccadilly Circus, the Leicester Square, the Times Square for Istanbul, many mass meetings are held there, with a large presence of riot clad police in attendance, it is where people meet, lovers, families and friends, a of fun, happiness. It draws people in via the buses, yellow taxis, the short Metro only perhaps six stations. Taxim Hill is a pedestrian only shopping area, recently being repaved (twice), with a twin trolley/tram service passing each other midway.

Taxi Tunel Underground Train

Taxi Tunel Underground Train

At the far end, where I stay is Tunel. This is a tunnel that links this part of Istanbul to the lower area near the Bosphorus called Karakoy, from here I catch the ferry to the other side. This tram tunnel the world’s second oldest metro was built in 1871. Again a twin tram system passing in the middle. The whole ride lasting only a couple of minutes (1.5). No chance of missing a station there are only two. But, it save a long hard and steep walk from the ferry to my flat.

A ship passes through the Bosphorus

A ship passes through the Bosphorus

Half way across the Bosphorus, we passed a large ship heading towards the Black Sea, to my amazement racing along side was a pod of dolphins breaking water as the swam against the strong current flowing towards the Aegean Sea. The dolphins swam at ease with each other, the never seem to make a mistake, make a wrong turn, hit an object, they are one with their surroundings, their environment. Why do we humans make so many mistakes, make the wrong decisions? We have much to learn about what is happening around us. For those who have worked with me, remember Phillips sausage.