Archive for October 2008

How To Travel To Istanbul (And Back)

30 October 2008, by

Round-trip Crete to Istanbul, it’s a mere 3400 kilometers (about 2100 miles) – we cover nearly 3 times that during a one-way flight from Greece to New York. Yet how you traverse the distance is just as important a factor as where you are traveling… and thus:

It’s The Journey, Not The Destination

We took nearly every type of transportation on our trip to Istanbul, and it was likely the longest trip we’ve ever taken in terms of total traveling time. If you care to try it for yourself, here are the simple directions.
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Safe In Istanbul

25 October 2008, by

Not that there was any real danger. Despite the Midnight Express
jokes, it is relatively safe here in Istanbul… that is just as safe as Greece (for whatever that’s worth).

So, we are here, finally! Arrived very late last night / early this morning at Irini’s house (Christos’ sister) after a LOOONG trip and some fun at the border. We will soon be venturing out to explore the city, which according to all reports is one of the most beautiful in the world. We’ll take pictures!

Oh yeah, an added surprise. I thought we were only going to the western side of Istanbul which is still on the European continent. But we crossed over into the eastern half; which means in addition to Turkey, we can now say officially we’ve been to Asia. Pretty cool ;)

The interwebs ain’t so great here (this and the last post actually had to be republished b/c the connection died while writting them) so we’ll probably not write again until we are back home… hopefully with lots of photos.

Midnight Express

23 October 2008, by

Kristy is done (finally!) with her thesis, and I’ve been working my clicking finger down to the bone on that interweb stuff I do. Since all work and no play makes thekristydave a dull pair, we’ve decided a small vacation is in order and we’re taking a long weekend (sandwiched between Friday and Tues) trip.

Our destination: Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

Yeah, as in TURKEY.
Continue reading Midnight Express »

Mailing Mishap (or USPS Damns the Greek Donkeys)

4 October 2008, by

Dedicated to Meg…

For those of you who don’t already know it, we have this great friend. This friend who reminds us all the time that we are all friends; sending out birthday notices and hosting parties to make it easy for us. And as far back as I can remember, she has sent each of us a birthday gift. Meg Mixes have become a phenomenon over the years, starting as mix tapes and evolving with the technology to CDs. And even overseas, without fail, each year I receive a CD packed with music to make me smile a lot, dance a little, and open my ears to something new. This year, it came a bit late…and due to no fault of Meg’s.

This morning there was a package stuck between slots in my door. When I saw the square shape and size I immediately knew it was my birthday mix. I grabbed it from its resting place thinking I would throw it in the player to accompany my morning breakfast. As I pulled the package from the door, I realized it crunched in my hands…never a good sound when it comes to anything plastic. A closer look revealed the package was covered in a layer of plastic with this message:

The USPS Mission

The USPS Mission

It is intriguing to me that the USPS immediately assumes the damage is the foreigners’ fault, but I was more surprised to read that I “can be assured that the country that [they] received this damaged mail from will be notified and will be asked to take steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.” Apparently, not only is the US “liberating” the oppressed in two separate countries, but the USPS is also compelled to bring “justice” universally to the postal systems. In any case, worried more about the CD than the mission of the USPS, I ripped off the plastic hoping the contents weren’t totally destroyed. I found this:

Thankfully, the CD was intact and plays fine…especially considering included in this year’s mix was an original by Christian Vaught (Meg’s husband and another long-time friend)! While there was nothing lost, I think the message from USPS was a little deceiving…from what I can tell by the damage, I think it got stuck in a genuine USPS machine. I can just see a postal employee pulling the totally destroyed package from the machine and saying “Yes! Foreign address! I can say they did it!”

Whether or not the CD made two trans-Atlantic trips, I am very happy it survived its obviously trying journey to bring me a little piece of friendship and home.