Friday, January 4, 2008

Back from Vacation

Hello Earthlings,

I haven't been able to communicate with my brethren for about three weeks now and It gives me great pleasure to finally spread the word about Yours Truly's vacation across continents and cultures.

Having spent three days in Boston after my second road trip (this time a return trip) across the US of A, I ventured out over the pond named the Atlantic and arrived at the magnificent city of London. Coming out of the plane and seeing the familiar black-on-yellow signs of Heathrow airport was a welcome I was looking forward to for over two and a half years. Nothing seemed to have changed until I saw the new 20 pound notes. Frankly, they look like monopoly money and it looks like the British Sterling is no longer the coolest-looking currency anymore. The staggering price of the train ticket to Central London was another reminder for me. London IS expensive. This thought stayed with me for the duration of my stay there.

My hotel (so to speak) was near Paddington station and the room was slightly bigger than my car, with the added bonus of a TV with no signal. Great. I walked around London, visited the old sites and met my friend Hattie and her boyfriend Andrew that night. I enjoyed drinking outside of a pub (something definitely missing in the US). I went to Richmond - the old neighborhood - the following day. Sitting on the Tide Tables by the Thames alone and reminiscing about good-old-days was one of the highlights of my trip. That night I watched "The Golden Compass" in Odeon Leicester Square. A little bit of more walking around and I went back to the hotel.

My flight to Zurich was from the City Airport. For those of you not in the know, it is situated in a place where no airport should ever be situated - far away from any discernible tourist or residential areas. I took the night bus at 3 in the morning, along with the drunken brethren of London who were taking the same bus back home. Anyhoo, I arrived at the airport without much hassle. The only significant thing about the airport was the sight of a teenage girl 1) throwing a bag at her father, and 2) slapping her mother. Quite a sight to behold.

Onward to Zurich. My uncle Can and my two cousins picked me up from the airport. Apparently nobody told him what time I was coming, so he had been waiting for quite some time. We drove to his apartment, dropped my bags, and went to Germany for food shopping. Now, that sounds strange, but the goods are considerably cheaper in Germany, so a lot of the Swiss population near the border prefer shopping over there. It takes about 25 minutes from Zurich to the German border. Having finished shopping (which included showing the receipt at the border control instead of a passport), we met my other uncle Cuneyt in Reutofabrik - an old factory now serving as a cafe and meeting place for the young, the hip, and the weird. After coffee we drove to my aunt Canan's apartment. Then we went back to Can's.

This is getting too long, so I better give a break here and save you from utter boredom - if you're not bored already. The second instalment will follow very soon. And until then,


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