Saturday, December 13, 2008

Istanbul, a wave of life

It took me 16 months to come back to Istanbul, again for only couple of days. The purpose of my last visit was international Congress in August 2007. Now I'm coming back for smaller event where most of presidents of AIESEC countries from Central and Eastern Europe are meeting (around 20 people all together). Same as the last time I made sure I come to Istanbul couple days before the meeting starts, just to hang around the city and absorb the energy that is present in Istanbul, especially on Istiklal street. I have to say I love it here. Coming back was like coming home even I spent only few days in Istanbul before...
When we finally found MC office, we've been introduced to Rejep (originally from Turkmenistan but living with his brother in Istanbul for 4 years already), cool guy who is taking care of MCPs meeting. After that we had nice dinner and couple drinks in various places also with David(Hungary), Aigul(Russia), Barbara(Brazil), JuanCa(Colombia) and Mehmet(Turkey). It's amazing to experience different nationalities coming together to work on one goal. This is what people experience LIVE! in AIESEC and becomes normal after some time even the world is still facing different crisis mainly because of not understanding and being enough tolerant to other cultures.
On Saturday morning, after I woke up in the MC office which is extremely cool (many rooms, kitchen, shower, big meeting room, MCP has even own room) I got to know few people from Turkish MC that came to office on Saturday to work on their ATEMCO conference, which will happen in few days. I had a short talk with Duygu(VP TM) and great talk while drinking the coffee in the kitchen with Irem(VP OGX). We spoke about different cultures and countries and funny traveling stories of ours. Thanks Irem for the talk ;)

But what was that wave of life that hit me? Tons of people in the city - shopping, eating, drinking, celebrating, watching football, selling baked chestnuts on the street, 4 floors bars and restaurants, people eating outside and inside, diverse languages and colors of skins - that's what hit me like a wave full of life. Coming from country of 5 million people to the city of around 12 million and culture like Istanbul won't let you stay "cold" - energy just pops up in you and you're suddenly surfing on that wave...

Monday, December 1, 2008

My Copenhagen story

Vienna-Copenhagen | 1 h and 40' | 78 Euro - thanks to low cost airlines and fast flights I can share my warm-cold story from Copenhagen - The cold was for the weather ;)
Taking nap after arriving to Copenhagen was the best thing to do to recover from a tough week. My short nap was followed by a nice evening in a Moroccan coffee place where I got a beer, Carlsberg of course! Meeting my friends from EuroCo conference which happened 2 months ago in Slovakia was great. It brought my EuroCo memories back...
The thing I like the most here so far was the French brunch which took more than 4 hours! Amazing! :) Four hours of eating and talking, sharing the stories and our realities was absolutely amazing - 6 people with roots from Iraq, Algeria, France, Denmark, Slovakia, Bahrain and Syria (Lucie, Fatima, Khaled, Christina, Leila and me). After a long brunch, me and my full stomach went to Tivoli - huge garden with a lot of stands and roller coasters, beautiful buildings and everything lighted - pretty place, especially for daters ;)

I again met couple of my friends from EuroCo but also several interns from Colombia and Poland, but also Fernando from Bolivia, Prateek from India and Dora from Romania - they all work for AIESEC. I also got a glass of "glogg" - hot vine with rum and spices inside, the same as you get at the Christmas market in Bratislava.

I think Copenhagen is definitely a city worth visiting - beautiful old architecture, a lot of places to have fun, Tivoli garden, bicycles all around the city, a lot of statues, etc...
But there is only one reason I travelled to Copenhagen which I didn't mentioned in this post yet - of course it's the girl, my girl - thanks Leila for making my stay in Copenhagen an amazing one!