Typhoon Rolex and Turkish Millionaire

Posted: Aug 26, 2003 8:51:17 AM

On my last day in Hong Kong I decided to go explore a good old-fashioned amusement park and then attend a big laser/fountains/coloured lights show on Hong Kong Island. Well, a class-three typhoon warning put an end to that plan, so instead I wandered the streets and Botanical Gardens mourning the terrible humidity and omnipresent rain. That was fun (I got a great picture of some Tai Chi gardens) but it could have been better. I wanted to go back to the Temple Street Night Market and have my fortune read, too, but that was a wash-out also.

Never mind, there was plenty to do: I went fake Rolex shopping! I promised one as a gift to someone back home (you know who you are), and finally managed to get one off a very dodgy-looking street merchant. I had fun bargaining (something I'd never done before coming to Hong Kong), but I suspect I could have gotten it for much less if I had played a little harder. Oh well, plenty of haggling still to come at the Grand Bazaar in Sultanahmet, Istanbul.

I avoided the touristy Peak Tram, but climb a very long way to see one of the world's longest escalators, which goes from the base of the island up to the mid-levels. In retrospect, it was foolishly optimistic to think that this escalator would go in both directions (as it turns out, it switches at about midday), and so I found myself stuck at the top of a very large line of stairs. Dang.

The flight from Hong Kong to Frankfurt was packed, and not fun, but after the previous day's walking my feet could use the rest. I slept the entire distance from Frankfurt to Istanbul, although I did meet a very friendly and chatty South African named Christopher in the Frankfurt Departure Lounge. Upon getting to my hotel in Istanbul I slept for barely four hours, and have inexplicably woken up feeling incredibly refreshed.


And this is what I'm going to see this afternoon: the magnificent Aya Sofia (usually known as the Haga Sofia). I'll also try to find a Turkish Bath, although I'm going to take things fairly easy for my first couple of days in Turkey. I'm here for three weeks, after all.

I spent most of the morning trying to work out what the exchange rate between here and NZ is - I still feel momentarily guilty about paying 1,750,000 Lira for a bottle of Sprite. But, on the plus side, I'm finally a millionaire! After my months of hard work an' all.

There are indeed plenty of Internet Cafes here, so I should be able to post many more reports, but the Turkish keyboard takes some getting used to: where the 'i' normally is I find 'ý', where the comma normally is I find 'Ö', and there are 'ð', 'ü', 'þ', and 'ç' keys as well.

Anyway, more news later. Have fun, all!


Agnes   Aug 26, 2003 10:37:00 AM

Good to find yourself rich aye, hehehe. By the way, how common is English in Turkey? Is it like their second language?

Peter   Aug 26, 2003 10:48:36 AM

Well, looking at their keyboard config this seems rather unlikely :) . While we've got plenty of differences on the german keyboard as well, most of them do not affect the letter keys.

The prominent exception being y and z which have been swapped. Can be fun with passwords if you don't know what setting the keyboard's on right now... :) (Of course the special chars are a mess and completely different. Don't bother searching for a - it's where you'd expect the / character... the : is shift . , the key being used by ö and many more things of that kind...

Anyway </rambling> Have fun Damon, I'll be looking forward to more posts of our famish turkish millionaire!

Rimmers   Aug 26, 2003 10:51:00 AM

i remember my visit to Byzantinum/Constantinople/Istanbul many years ago. the city has a fascinating history...

don´t forget to taste "Tsimit", it´s a fantastic meal (or rather snack)!

btw, isn´t Peter in Turkey soon?

Sahi   Aug 26, 2003 11:12:19 AM

Hey! Yes he is! Are you two going to meet? That would be fun!

*was already wondering why the i's where so weird* ;)


Peter   Aug 26, 2003 11:31:19 AM

Might be, might not be.

I'll only be there for a week.

And of course I've already notified Damon. Shouldn't be hard to avoid me though ;)

Morgan   Aug 26, 2003 2:11:35 PM

Great Damon,

Love the elevator! Frazer hasn't been able to get on the net recently due to the forest fires in Oregon but I read him your first report over the phone. He's going to Canada, although the forest fires are pretty prevalent there as well!

Hopefully, he'll be back on the net to comment on your adventures.

BTW: Do you actually read these comments and if so why don't you comment on the comments?

Peter   Aug 26, 2003 2:21:17 PM

Well, in Turkey it'd cost him millions to stay on that long....

Charlotte   Aug 26, 2003 2:52:39 PM

*evil grin* Eagerly anticipates an'amusing' turkish bath and massage story.

Typhoons suck don't they? Especially when you have to walk for hours in a torrential typhoon downpour!

Maladroit   Aug 26, 2003 5:03:54 PM

Oh no, damon has planned his trip during the rainy season of several climates, he's going to come back with webbed feet (and other adaptations)!

Rook   Aug 26, 2003 6:16:27 PM

Oooh... Aya Sophia is beautiful. Very mysterious. You shall have to tell us about it, damon. :) Alos, don't stay too long inside that Turkish Bath, lest you return all pruney.

The Sixth Viking   Aug 26, 2003 8:58:59 PM

I would love to see the Aya Sohia

* is sorely jealous *

Bosco   Aug 27, 2003 1:35:10 AM

Hong Kong is the wackiest place on earth. Big ol' escalator going one way? Typhoons? Fortune tellers? Bet you're having so much fun. *grouses*

Damon   Aug 27, 2003 3:35:34 PM

Well Morgan, I would comment further on the comments, but I have only so much time and there are so many of them *grin*

Big report on the wonders of Istanbul coming in just a moment.

Peter   Aug 27, 2003 7:42:55 PM

Just shows how popular you are, Damon! ;)

David   Aug 28, 2003 2:01:35 AM

Oh, I could have warned you about the escalator; it's a communtor escalator -- it goes down in the morning (till 10 am IIRC), and uphill until late in the evening. (Of course, I had told you all about the Bank of China Building at least twice, but apparently you didn't listen.)

Damon   Aug 30, 2003 8:30:22 PM

Yeah, well, I had fun. And I went to see the Bank of China building, but they were closed that day. Dang.

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