Archive for the ‘8. February 2012’ Category

Crazy Bathroom at the hotel

My last few days in Istanbul (Tuesday and Wednesday) were spent at the hotel, as I was still sick, better than before but not feeling fit enough to go on adventures. Besides I needed to play my role as Genie in the training. I did this for most of Tuesday which was fun and relaxing, I didn’t have a lot to do but I enjoyed watching the training anyway.

Dad at work

Wednesday I flew back to London which meant I had to say goodbye to Dad which was a bit sad, but I was so happy I got to spend the time with him! I encountered major drama at the airport and as I was lining up to check in I had a strange intuition that something would go wrong and it did. Apparently the flight I booked back to London in my sick state was for March not February – when I found this out tears instantly welled in my eyes as I was informed I needed to go and change my ticket. In order to do this I had to pay 370 euros, it was all too much for my sick vulnerable self so after I actually checked in I broke down crying in the toilets – one doesn’t usually think that the first time for crying in toilets would happen at 25, but it did with me. I felt much better after this and came to terms with my silly mistake so not to worry.

Being Professor Cup

I spent a relaxing day and a half in London hanging with Stef which was nice. I was still sick so didn’t do a lot but it was a beautiful sunny day on Thursday so we went out to walk in the park and get lunch.

I am now in Brighton, my new city. I start work on Monday which is very exciting – just a half day with year 5 class. I am very much looking forward to it. All I need to do now is find a place to live and I am settled. So I probably won’t keep day to day updates on my blog as I hopefully will just be working every day. But I will definitely write at least once a week and more if necessary for example if something exciting happens to me! So until then :).

Sunny London


Today I woke up and felt like sh*t, totally! I had no energy, my throat was on fire, I was clogged up and full of mucus and my muscles and body generally ached. So I went down to breakfast to see Dad but quickly after I went back to bed. I stayed in bed all day sleeping and watching movies. I would start a movie, fall asleep, wake up, finish the movie and fall asleep again – basically that’s all. I also drank a lot of water and tea, had heaps of vitamins and strepsils. It was kind of depressing to be stuck in bed during my time in Istanbul, but I really had no energy to be genie, let alone go exploring, such is life hey 🙂

Man square

I still wasn’t feeling right today so I spent the morning relaxing in bed sleeping and in the sauna. After lunch I went on an adventure to town to find ‘Evil Eyes’ – a traditional glass piece of jewellery that you wear around your neck to ward off evil eyes or medusa’s snakes – depending on which story you believe.

Sunday Shopping

I took a taxi to the Grand Bazaar which turned out to be closed unfortunately. However there were plenty of shops open around there and not before long I found what I was looking for. I used my bargaining skills and bought 35 evil eyes. I then continued wandering around the streets of Istanbul looking for string. I happened to find myself in a little square full of people all huddled around open suitcases  full of random objects, I then suddenly realised I was the only women in this square, which was an interesting feeling.


Five or six times a day the loud speakers from all the mosques start singing everyone to prayer, it is a strange feeling when the streets become less crowded and all you can hear are the prayers, it would be impossible to sleep if you lived near a mosque, which must be the case for everyone as there are literally mosques everywhere, in any direction at least 3 are always visible.

So I failed on my string mission in that area so caught a taxi to Taxim – the main shopping area. I had a very unfriendly encounter with my taxi driver, who started yelling at me, trying to make me pay more than the meter recorded – I bluntly refused so he refused to give me a receipt.


I easily found my way to the main street where I was completely overwhelmed by the number of people. I felt like I was in the middle of a huge rally with the amount of people walking together, but it was just an ordinary Sunday. You can see in the photos how crazy it was.

After about an hour of walking down this street I eventually found a nice man who sold me some random string that he had. By this time I was completely exhausted and overwhelmed so I caught a taxi home. Not before nearly getting run over and beeped at as I crossed the road at the zebra crossing – I should have known better than to assume that a zebra crossing meant ‘cross here safely’.

Genie's creator - Mary Ann

In the evening I got to dress up in my Genie costume! It was the beginning of the training and I was to welcome everyone into the room and give them an evil eye. It was lots of fun. I spent the rest of the session up the back waiting for when the genie was needed again to do more magic! When it all ended I had a bath before falling asleep.

Mosaic Ceiling

This morning I woke up nice and early and quickly showered got dressed and rushed down stairs to meet Dad in the lobby. It was so nice to see him, I nearly cried from joy….nearly 🙂

We had breakfast together and I met with some of the other people that Dad is doing the training with, who were all really friendly.

Inside the Hagia Sofia

I then went back to my room as I had suddenly come down with a burst of stomach cramps and the runs so I went back to bed until mid-day.

When mid-day arrived I felt much better so went out with Dad and the crew to see some of the tourist sites and get some Turkish lunch.

Hagia Sofia Ceiling

We had to catch Taxi’s in as our hotel is in the sticks, as nice as it is! Our first stop was the famous Hagia Sofia. Actually we planned to go their first but ended up seeing the Blue Mosque first, which was massive! We all had to go through a special entrance as tourists and could only enter certain parts inside. The tiling was incredible – nearly every inch of the walls was covered in intricate tiling!

After this we went o Hagia Sofia which was impressive, especially because it was built over 1700 years ago. It too was also massive with amazing patterned rocks in the walls. You can see from the photos, much better than any words I could say.


We had lunch at Medusa’s place where we sat on cushions on the floor and ate amazing food!

After lunch went to buy a genie costume as Marianne (one of Dad’s co-workers) decided that I should play role of genie during the training, which I was naturally very excited about. It was lots of fun trying on different costume pieces and the women in the store eventually figured out what we were trying to achieve and became a great help. With Stefan’s bargaining skills complete we walked out all happy and geniefied!


I was still not feeling quite right so when we arrived back in the hotel I meditated and then lay down until dinner. Dinner in the hotel was very nice and we were in good company, I went to bed early to rest, after a lovely day.

Same issue as before with photos

The Dress up shop

Turkish Lunch


Dakini from 17th Century Tibet

I had a lovely two days in London, well not even two days, two and a half days and two nights. I spent the majority of Thursday afternoon at the British Museum, which is amazing. I was in the Asian section for hours looking at all the beautiful Buddha statues they have there; it was most cultural and enjoyable. On Thursday evening it was meditation at the centre. Heaps of people where there, everyone was smiling and friendly. I knew a few people but most I didn’t, this didn’t matter though I had a really nice time and hung out afterwards.

I then went to the pub with Scotty, Tarini and this other girl (whose name I can’t remember unfortunately), we had a beer and chatted which was nice. Tarini, Scotty and I then decided to hit up some gay clubs in Soho. This gave us a great opportunity to get our dance on – it felt great to dance for hours into the early hours of the morning – Scotty and Tarini are so much fun.

I woke up nice and early on Friday morning to go and have breakfast with Stef which was really nice. We went to this huge boutique Italian café which made very good coffee and pastries.

Buddha from 5-6th Century

Before I knew it, it was time to leave to head to the airport. I very easily just caught the tube to the airport and arrived with plenty of time to spare. My flight to Istanbul was basically empty so I had three seats to myself which meant I could lie down – a real luxury after travelling on so many packed budget airlines.

Coffins from the Ga tribe in Ghana

I didn’t get to the hotel until about 11.30pm, it was a long taxi drive from the airport to here. Our hotel is in the outskirts of the city in what looks like an industrial area. However I have a massive room, so naturally my first instinct was to put my stuff everywhere before crashing in bed – probably one of the comfiest beds I have ever slept in!

P.s. My blog is having a disagreement with me and uploading photos so I’ll try tomorrow

British Museum

The Old Princes Play Palace

I caught the train from Edinburgh station to Brighton on the morning of the 13th of February. It was a most pleasant journey travelling through the snow speckled English country side. My journey was only dampened by my bad choice of movie to watch, I will know better for next time. The journey took 6 hours in total with a stop off in hectic London.

Seth (my new friend from the Sangha in Brighton) met me at the train station and walked me to his cute little flat. He is really lovely and friendly and I felt very welcome to be there. We then had a quick cup of tea before going to get Thai for dinner and head to the centre for meditation. It was great to meet all the friends at meditation, all so warm and friendly.

At the 'beach'

On Tuesday morning I headed out to Sussex University to meet the supply recruitment company. I had an hour to spare so I wandered around the uni pretending to be a hip uni student – this failed as I was not wearing the hip fashion of the actual uni student but smart(ish) interview cloths, nonetheless I enjoyed pretending anyway.

Brighton Street Art

The interview went really well and I spent the rest of the day exploring the streets of Brighton and filling out more forms. Brighton is a really cute lovely little beach town. There are beautiful boutique streets and alley ways to explore. The vibe is most enjoyable!

In the evening Seth and I went out for a beer to celebrate ‘hetero-normativity reinforcement day’ – thanks Lynda for the brilliant label of such a day. It was crazy to see how obsessed the English are with the aforementioned day! Every restaurant and bar was FULL of couples and only couples and candles! Seth and I had fun though.

On Wednesday I went out for breakfast with Seth, Steve and Olga, which was lovley. I then wandered along the beach – well what the English call a beach – I don’t know if you can have rocks (large pebbles) instead of sand and still call it a beach. Regardless it was beautiful! I had to pack…again and head to London where I will stay for 2 nights. It was a cheap and easy ride to London – actually it cost me basically as much to get from Brighton to London as it did to get from one tube station to the next IN London.

Seth, Steve and Olga

I am staying with Tarini who is temporarily sub-letting a room. Her flat just happens to be directly across the road from the British Museum! It was so nice to see Tarini again and share all our adventures of the last 6 months. We then headed out to a gallery opening of one of her friends – which was really fun. We followed this with a beer at the local pub before heading home to bed!

The 'beach'

bathroom dishes

As far as Thursday and Friday goes I don’t remember much as it is now Monday and I am in Brighton which seems very far away from Edinburgh. But what I do remember was very exciting, but that is usual the case that we only remember the exciting! So the excitement included: a continued blocked sink caused by an air vacuum being created in one of the bends of the dodgy pipe – which meant continued use of the bathroom sink as the dish washing area.

Making dinner

Cooking was another excitement – I made dinner for all of us and Kiki and I made cakes for the upcoming weekend course. On Friday night we also went out for a bit of a dance which was lots of fun, dancing away until 2am, relatively early.  I also went to the library again and bought some interview appropriate clothes and some headphones.

lunch at the centre

On the weekend Anna from Newcastle was here giving lectures on various Buddhist topics. She was fantastic, really funny, intelligent, sharp, and witty and very often hit the nail on the head so to speak. It was a great weekend and everything ran really smoothly. We had many meditation sessions and all enjoyed eating lunch and dinner together at the

Serious business

centre. It was a great weekend and a great finish to my time in Edinburgh.



As you might have guessed for the last few days we have been having some serious kitchen plumbing issues! On Wednesday our sink appeared to be blocked. So blocked in fact the sink flooded with washing machine water. This left Ieva and I carting water from the kitchen to the bathroom until the washing machine had finished. I also spent a chunk of time in the evening standing over the sink with the worst plunger ever trying to fix it – to absolutely no avail.

I have also had to do lots of work organising and re-organising things, which has kept me productive and busy.

My body guards!

On Tuesday night Kiki, Ieva and I all went to the movies. In fact we decided to start a Russian gang on our way to the movies, the reasons behind this being Ieva and Kiki are extremely tall and I look mini next to them so naturally they became my body guards and I was the very little but tough gang leader!

Apart from being in a gang and dealing with some serious kitchen troubles I have enjoyed the freezing cold which is this house. On Wednesday night it was 6.7 degrees inside and this morning (Thursday) it is not hard to see yourself breathe!

Fun times

Scottish attempt at the Acropolis

Monday morning on holidays is not like an ordinary Monday morning. Monday morning involved a lot of emailing in bed with a cup of tea, meditating, a bath and breakfast. It was then the afternoon so Ieva and I decided to go on an adventure up Calton Hill!

It was a beautiful sunny and crisp day, so a perfect day for a walk. It was really beautiful! There was still ice on the road on the north side of the hill due to the lack of sun – this made risky walking for me as my Australian shoes aren’t designed for walking on ice, Ieva naturally was fine due to her Russian boots!

Icy roads!

The view was very nice, but not as impressive as Hollyrood Hill, but totally worth it!

The View

The evening was spent at home, cooking dinner, socialising in the kitchen – the warmest place in the house and then watching Sherlock Holmes – again I know, but I am obsessed to say the least, a relative harmless obsession! Except for the fact that I then have dream where I think I am Sherlock – scary, but exciting!!!!

At the top of Calton Hill

The Australian

On Saturday it was raining, cold and I felt like I was getting a cold so I spent the day watching a movie snuggled up on the coach with 3 blankets and a cup of tea! I also managed to meditate and cook amazing rice for lunch! I was actually waiting in anticipation the whole day for the return of my house mates – KiKi and Ieva!!

Eventually they arrived!! I was most excited! It was so nice to have some company in this little cold house! So we sat in the kitchen, ate some food and had lovely chats. They then showed me some photos from the Russian tour and shared their stories, it sounded as though they had an amazing time! We then all meditated together which was special.

We ended the evening watching a movie in Ieva’s double bed where all three of us fell asleep – it was a very cosy nights sleep that’s for sure, nice and warm!

On Sunday both the girls were working so I did some homely things like meditate, clean the kitchen and eat food. I took myself out for coffee which was really nice, it was a beautiful crisp but sunny day.

The Lithuanian

When Ieva arrived home we drank tea and chatted in the kitchen. We then walked to meditation at the centre together. After meditation we walking home via another friends house where we played a funny board game (sort of) called hop or drop with little rabbits, which was very funny! We then continued our walk home, made some dinner and went to bed after mid-night. It was a lovely day indeed!