Geeks, Itchy spots and the Harlem of Istanbul

Trip Start Oct 03, 2002
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Trip End Jun 30, 2003


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Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Hi all

So now they have found me a job at the private university in istanbul and when I say found the people in the department did not know I was coming till 15 minutes before!!

It is working for their Bilgi.net web site there was some work in the public relations departments and also the English preparatory school but I am the first to start a job and the other trainees are all fighting for the few positions....so I think I am lucky really.

The Bilgi.net looks after the universitys web site and also does work for external clients. It has about 8 people working in the department and I am one of four new people starting at this time although I was the only surprise arrival! The manager is called Nevzat and can only speak Turkish and French so bizarrely I am Turkey speaking French with the boss and English with everyone else!

As I was a bit of a surprise it is not clear what I will do but maybe content updates talking with the various departments in the university to see what they would like on their sites or to create new ones....I think it is very like what I was doing at HP. For the geeks reading from HP here is the techy stuff...they use Edit Plus and really like using Raw html the content updates are done via a tool created in house by Vigo who likes commodores gaming and saturday night live..that allows the updates to be uploaded directly to the site. The people are very nice and are happy for me to be here. Other people in the dept are, Emre, is into "bmx"ing and punk music.

Lale (pronounce Laah Laee) her name means Tulip, she already handles a lot of communication with the content owners (yes a hp term!) and would like to improve, for want of a better expression, reinventing the wheel, she said that it is interesting that it also the same elsewhere but business is very far behind in Turkey, to start with I am looking through every page for English corrections to be made!

Illnesses~ yes I have had some...for those of you that did not know i had a very bad cold for about four days...it was very hot here and i was out all day and then it gets very cold in the evening!

so I got over that then I became ill again! this time I am quite worried about it. On Sunday a few spots appeared on only my right hand and they were not insect bites but look like maybe flea bites...anyway I ignored them until they looked in the evening more like huge boils! yes very nice...I know! and very itchy...went to the English speaking doctor at the university thank goodness and she said she thought it was a allergy to something but thought it was very strange and could not say what exactly! so a presciption was given to me for some allergy tablets and some cream so I went to the pharmacy to get the stuff... they had to try to explain to me in turkish that they did not have the cream.....to my surprise the pharmacy practioner asked me in French if I spoke French so then everything was clear....but it was far from clear why in a very poor area of Istanbul did the man who works in a small pharmacy spoke French!
Unfortunately the spots have got much worse even with tablets and have now spread up my right arm too if it is worse again tomorrow I will return to the doctor. and I have not told my Mum as she will just worry too much.

I had done so many things since I last posted a message here but one thing I did was great..we normally go to eat then dancing till 3 am..but this time we did this and then went to drink cay (tea)next to the Dolmabache palace it was so beautiful and me and a very good Turkish friend called Saadet her name means happiness...and her other turkish friends sat and talked until the sun came up at about 6.30/7.00 am..then we walked to an area called Besiktas and ate breakfast and I finally went to bed about 9 am.

Accomodation..I will be moving to a new dormitory on thursday but we were told that the place we are going to (Kasimpasa) is not just the worse place in istanbul but the worse in turkey one turkish man told me that in fact it is the harlem of Istanbul..my good friend Saadet is living in another dormitory for girls and once there is a free bed i will be moving there with her.

Everyday is not planned things just happen for example last night after I finished my first day at work i met two greeks and Saadet (turkish girl) and we went to eat at traditional Turkish restaurant where they cook the food right in front of you after this we went to a bar where beer costs 1 million Turkish lira this is about 50 pence!
then to a short film showing at a place called Babylon;not so great as a lot of it was in Turkish without subtitles then we ate a donut from dunkin donuts and caught the metro and then the dolmus (bus) home...finally got there at 11.30pm! phew!

hi to people in Brissle..kisses to all
hi to Wayne in America and thanks for calling me I really appreciate it!
Hi to Johno in US..how I love your mails/maybe we could have competition for the longest mail?
and Merhaba to everyone else xxx
Claire Walkley hope u have recovered after your birthday weekend
Michal (in poland) maybe I could do with your doctor advice now?!

Lots of love to all
Charlotte
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