Sunday, May 10, 2009

Little things

A long haul today from Cappadocia to Ankora. We left the ancient silk road and traveled north and west along the "Kings Road", the route Alexander the Great took on his hit world tour. We passed lake Tuz, a massive seasonal lake that is only 2 inches deep and stained red with plankton.

In Ankora we visited the Mausoleum of Mustapha Kemal better known as Attaturk, the founder of the republic. The large marble buildings are inspired by the Hittites and surrounded by a large wooded space. After that, the Anatolean Museum.

Very tired. I think my brain is full.

Here are some observations. Nothing detailed, just things I have noticed during my time here:

  • Turkey has embraced energy efficiency. Every bulb I've seen has been a CFT. Often, the lobby and hallways of our hotels are unlighted until late afternoon.

  • Their selection of candy and junkfood is quite good.

  • Imams are not allowed to wear their clerical robes outside the Mosque. Sounds great right? Go secular state! But wait, Imams are actually civil servants. Tax money actually pays them a salary (though it doesn't pay for Mosques). This blew my mind at first and seems a complete contradiction. But think of it like this, how many civil servants do you know who are fanatical about their job? It makes a bizzare sense.

  • The roads are pretty good here and the drivers are not maniacs. I could feel pretty confident renting a car here and driving it, even in the city.

  • Turks like to keep their vehicles clean. I've seen taxi drivers washing their cars lovingly.

  • I think its forbidden to show people smoking on tv. I saw a movie a few nights ago and they blurred out a characters hand as he smoked a pipe. Wierd.

  • Youtube is blocked in Turkey

  • Most homes use a passive solar water heater. A large tank sits on the roof and feeds water through a dark glass panel then into the house. These tanks are on the roofs of both the poor and the middle class

  • When touring Cappadocia our guide 'Mus' told us that some of "Return of the Jedi" was filmed here. This, I knew, was complete B.S. but I just checked the web anyway. I am not sure how big a geek that makes me.

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