Saturday, July 16, 2005

Public Finance Symposium, Istanbul, June 6-8

For my recent trip to Turkey I did not write during the trip as I was too busy and ridiculously jet-lagged. I always thought people were so rude to sleep during conferences - if they are not interested they shouldn't come! However, for the first time I found myself guilty of this most impolite act. Not that I wasn't interested; my body simply shut down and no amount of caffeine was going to keep my eyes open. By the end of the conference though I worked out a few tricks to keep awake such as a brisk walk before the session out in the sun and taking notes of the session to keep body and mind active.

At the end of the first day of the Symposium the Turkish counterparts took us all on a wonderful dinner cruise along the Bosphorus River.

View from the boat on the Bosphorus

Another scenic shot

View of a palace from the boat

On the final day, the conference ended after lunch giving my friend and me a full half day and evening to be proper tourists. We immediately set out to enjoy some sights.

The Hagia Sophia

Outside the Blue Mosque

Upside down head of Medusa in the Basilica

The Basilica

After visiting the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the Basilica we wandered the streets a while before having dinner and then finding a quaint little hof for a few too many beers.

Visiting Lao and Turkey in quick succession highlighted how vastly different this world really is. These countries may as well be different planets but I loved them both and they both had a richness and beauty unique unto themselves.

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui