Thursday, July 31, 2008

food and travel

One problem with going to places where I don't speak the language is that I always worry that I will not be understood enough to buy food, so I end up starving to death. Once i have got that first meal, then I know i will live. i usually stand in front of the counter like a sad stray dog *clutchng a 20 euro note) and point. The servers take pity and a bowl of hot food comes my way. In Istanbul on the bus ride to my hotel i saw all those kebab shops. I knew was in heaven and that I would certainly not starve. After 2 straight days of kebabs, I tried some fish today. Yet another country where they don't serve chilli source with kebabs. I am off to try some more raki.


I have had a pleasent day wondering around some of the sites in Istanbul. I will post more about this later. A slight pain are the number of people trying to sell me carpets. i am minding my own business totally lost just trying to find something that is usually in front of me. Then someone will kindly help, and the start asking "where are you from?" The conversation will then end up them wanting to give me their card for a shop that sells carpets. This is not a big deal, but I have learnt many useful things. When I say I am living in Glasgow they immediatley say "Glasgow Rangers" and laugh. This tells me that not many people from Glasgow visit Istanbul, because any celtic fan would make sure they never say "Glasgow rangers" with a smile ever again. Also, when someone asked about the capital of Scotland, and I said "Edinburgh", he didn't look convinced that the city existed. I assume he didn't know of any famous football teams from Edinburgh. I decided not to tell him that Edinburgh is famous for "Trainspotting", "Rebus2, and "Dr Jykll and mr Hyde": junkies, drunks and murderers, but I doubted that would have helped, I made the mistake of saying one time "that I don't like carpets". As he said what does that mean.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I stayed in the easyjet hotel in Luton. It was cheap and very convenient for the train and airport. However, did they have to paint it so orange? I couldn't get any sleep, becaue of the glow from the walls.


I can't help feeling that God was against this holiday in istanbul. First off two days before I left there was a big bomb in Istanbull. They didn't hit the tourist areas. Since we get bombs in London and flaming cars going into Glasgow airport, it didn't make much difference. There seemed to be many other problems that seemed designed to stop me. As I got on the bus to go to the railway station, some kind spat on me by mistake. At the railway station they sold me a ticket to Newton instead of Luton. I didn't look at the ticket until I nearly got on the train. The bus driver from Luton to Luton airport didn't know the route. The people on the bus had to tell one time he was going the wrong way, I flew from Luton via Easyjet. One hour into the journey, the pilot reported that one passenger didn't have anough oxgyen to make it to Istanbul, so we had to turn back to Luton. I was all for letting the guy take his chances, but company rules are company rules. So instead of getting to Istanbul at 16:00 I was there at 19:00. I missed my ride to the hotel. So I got a shuttle with another company. They dropped me at the wrong hotel (with a similar name). Luckily it was close to te hotel I was meant to be at. To top it all, there was no minibar in the room. Just en empty fridge. So when I meet the devil in hell after some big bombing, he will no doubt say "we did try to warn you off, but you missed the omens. We don't want your whining in hell."

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The highway men

I have just finished reading "the highway men" by Ken MacLeod. This is short novel set in a postwar Scotland. The dialogue and descriptions of the green bits of Scotland were good. I probably would never have found this book with out the buying choices made by the clever librarians at Hillhead library. (Perhaps they will excuse the fine now).

Friday, July 18, 2008

Parliament of whores

I find that as I get older I am definitely getting more right wing. I have just finished reading "Parliament of whores" by P.J. O'Rourke. O'Rourke is a right wing humorist and journalist. The book is about the American politics around the early 90s. O'Rourke is not a fan of government, particularly of welfare, although he seems happy enough with the military.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

I sit in a hotel room in Marseilles. I am on the way to a conference in a nearby city. Easy-jet run a route from from Glasgow to Marseilles and this turned out the easiest way to go the conference. About the only research I did for visiting Marseilles was watching the film French Connection II sometime ago. I should go out and order Jack Daniels at a bar like Popeye did in the film. I got a hotel near the port area. It is a very civilized city, although there do seem to be some gangster types wondering about. The weather is not and sunny, certainly much better than Glasgow, where it was threatening to rain almost all the time. The women here are beautiful and sexy. I am probably not used to seeing a woman not wearing a thick rain coat, but I felt things in my loin stirring as I wondered around the busy streets. I was amused to see a Durex machines on the side of buildings. They would get destroyed in the UK. Why have some pleasurable sex when you can have more fun smashing a box of metal up? I still seem to be on heat. There are a lot of nice cafes around here, so I am not sure why I had dinner in a kebab shop. The French take their food very seriously. I got chips with the meat in my kebab. Classy. The hotel has decorated each hotel room in the theme of a different painter. I am in room for Paul Gauguin. Needless I can only afford to stay here for one night.