Saturday, 6 May 2006

Fun (?) in Istanbul

Who said international business travel was glamorous, or fun??

I spent three days in Istanbul, and it went something like this:
Flight delayed because of security.
Arrived in Istanbul and was run into by a taxi (good thing I bounce!)
Took a one hour taxi ride to the hotel. The taxi driver would fail his licence in Tehran or Cairo, he was that bad. He was very caring and offered us all a cigarette before he lit up himself! Got to the hotel and felt nauseous for the next two hours.

Dinner was fine, however. Found a great restaraunt and enjoyed eally good local cuisine. We were told to go by taxi, which took 20 minutes and cost 7 Euros. We later found out it should have cost about 3, and we walked back to the hotel in less than half the time. Then, in a 'taste of home', I discovered a Gloria Jeans Coffee shop and had a large caramel latte, to remind me of Sydney. I emailed Nicole about GJ's, and I think she was green with envy as this was where she 'hung out' with her girlfriends in Oz.

The second day, I lost a button off my shirt about 5 minutes before an appointment (found a sewing kit for running repairs), then I lost one off my trousers (not through putting on too much weight, mind you!), then my belt buckle broke. I managed running repairs as required.

That evening we caught a bus from the hotel to dinner. It took the bus 40 minutes to go the same distance I had walked that morning in 15 minutes! The bus took us to the Bosporous, where we had a boat cruise to the dinner venue.

At dinner I had red wine spilt all over me by a colleague-this was just before I found out that the two most important guests didn't arrive because the organisers had not sent a car for them! Big apologies were now called for (I had walked to their hotel earlier and personally delivered invitations....)

The flight home was packed. The people directly behind me on the first leg spent most of the flight complaining about the bad service (poor hosties were going flat out!) , and there was a screaming infant on the second. If the child had a cold or something, it would have been no fun at all with blocked ears. As it was, it was little fun for the rest of us.

Arrived home at 11.00pm. One day with the family then off to Cairo on Sunday. Hopefully I have a somewhat 'luckier' experience there....

1 comment:

Lizzard said...

Ha Ha Ha, that was a slap stick routine, but as I now what drivers are like in Cairo, then he must have been bad.

Liz Williams