Istanbul Dreams

When still studying I had the opportunity to do my internship in Turkey. Due to some -unforseen- circumstances I ended up living for 1,5 years in Istanbul. First, the European part in which I was living in the famous (not for good reasons) Dolapdere, Taksim. Later on the company I was working for decided to move to another continent (read; the Asian side) so I ended up living in Moda, Kadikoy.

At that time, I had a lot of fun but as I hadn’t finished my education I was forced to return. That was already over 5 years ago in which I didn’t visit Turkey at all. Last year I joined my parents to Inegöl which is a small city near Bursa in the Asian part of Turkey. I took the opportunity to visit Istanbul for 3 days on my way back to Europe. Used this time to visit old places (specifically the “pilav cart guy” and the lahmacun shop in Dolapdere).

Istanbul is nice, it is a city of contrasts. People from all walks of life, poor, rich, laid back, busy whatever you can imagine are present in this city of 16 million. I specifically like the way people live over in Istanbul when comparing this to the Netherlands. More time for thought and in general more laid back.

Life in Egypt

Had the opportunity to visit Egypt with the wonderful people of SV IDEE in May of this year. We visited Cairo, helped out in one of the local elementary schools, shared meals with the locals and explored the city.

Cairo itself is a beautiful city. I found Egypt to be very interesting, partly because of its rich history but also because of the nice people and great food. Maybe one of the last Arab countries I’ll visit. As I have now found out that from an outside perspective there isn’t much (observable) difference between people and culture.