Life & Travel

Istanbul April 2010

April 5, 2010 :: Tags: , , :: Comments Off on Istanbul April 2010

Istanbul is an amazing city. Those who know my love for San Francisco are surprised that for the first time I wondered why my Turkish friends in San Francisco, decided to leave Istanbul.

I have been to Istanbul before and was eager to show it to Nami and SORA. We stayed in a pretty nice design/boutique hotel in a plush area of Istanbul. The European side of Istanbul appears a lot more advanced/progressive than its Asian side. Like many major cities in the world, there are pretty rich areas of town, and some poor areas. Not so surprising though. When I go a few miles to the South side of Chicago, I find life very different from the North side of Chicago. The beauty of the poorer areas in Istanbul is that I felt absolutely welcomed, and safe. So much so, that I took Nami and SORA for a tour.

Once we left Tehran, I told Nami that would only eat sea food in Istanbul as I was tired of all the (delicious) meat we had in Iran. Lo and behold, our hotel recommended a great Kebab restaurant to us on our first day, where we ended up going three times. The Bazaar has now become a tourist Mecca, worth avoiding or not spending longer than an hour there. The ferry rides are inexpensive, and fun. People welcoming and hospitable as ever.

Visiting Istanbul, Turkey

March 31, 2010 :: Tags: , , :: Comments Off on Visiting Istanbul, Turkey

Visiting Turkey again. What a beautiful country. What a great people. Delicious food.

Istanbul has been selected as the 2010 European Culture Capital. I wonder which city be the 2011 Culture Capital in Europe. Feels such a difficult task to meet or surpass Istanbul’s rich heritage.

I have been to Istanbul before. First, around 22 years ago when I met my parents after being away from them for nine years. At the time, I could not go to Iran, and they could not easily visit America. So, we selected Istanbul as our meeting point. Ever since then, Istanbul has a special place in my heart.

In the last 20some years Istanbul has changed a lot. It is a modern European city now. Nowhere as polluted as then, and significantly less scary to cross the street than before (which in Tehran is still an activity more risky than kissing your mate naked on a crowded sidewalk).

I am glad SORA is experiencing Istanbul at such an early age. He will of course be traveling here again, and again. It is important that he learns about different cultures, people and diversity.

Keep an eye on SORAsound blog for pictures.

Tehran March 2010

March 30, 2010 :: Tags: , :: 7 Comments

Isn’t this amazing? I avoided going to Iran for over 32 years, and now within six or seven months, have visited Iran twice. All I can say is the hospitality you see in Iran, is second to none. Pictures below are a mix of family pictures, parties, and celebration of the Iranian new year among my family in Iran.

iran — food

October 21, 2009 :: Tags: , :: 2 Comments

now you see how i gained about two kilograms in three weeks. delicious home made food. and of course many great restaurants. how about the drinks? well, drinks of choice seem to be home made wine, home brewed beer, heineken, johnny walker black label, and basically anything else.

iran, gilan province

October 17, 2009 :: Tags: , :: Comments Off on iran, gilan province

i spent last few days in the northern part of iran where i had lived for a few years. the changes in the last 32 years are stunning. at my time, most houses were single family homes. now, the prices (land, home) are so high that single family homes, commonly referred to as villas are rare. the food is delicious, and people are as hospitable as people in the rest of iran, if not more so. i spent most my time in rasht and lahijan with a few stops in other small towns.