Thursday, May 14, 2009

Day 7 - Last Day in Ish Stan Poli

We have a long drive to the Ford Motor Company plant this morning, so we have to be down in the lobby by 6:00am. Everybody is dragging a bit, but the bright light is that we have a 2 hour bus ride for crucial sleep time. I make an amazing discovery on the bus that if you are only 68 inches, you happen to fit perfectly in the fetal position in the bus seat. My neck disagrees about this being a good discovery.

We get to the Ford plant, and it is an impressive compound. The first guy talks to us about Ford Otoman (name of turkey wing of this bankrupt company) as a general overview. We then get a lady to tell us how HR works in FMC Turkey. She claims that they get inflation based raises, but the economics guy said that inflation was about 50%, so I can't imagine they are doubling their salaries and then some every two years. The next guy that speaks is probably the 2nd guy in the Turkish Mafia. His accent and facial expressions are absolutely priceless. I will attempt to do them when I get back in the states, but it will do no justice to how awesome this guy was. He is on top of his shit and answers some tough questions we throw at him, but nobody has answered my question of how the high inflation kills both wage control and Ford Financing. Btw, everytime I ask a question, I have to worry about Simpleton Jim looking over at me and saying "clavin" to reinforce that I am a dork. Simpleton American Jim.....

We get back to the hotel and everybody decides to relax for a bit before we go to a group dinner on the Bosphorus. The place we go to dinner is pretty nice. Although restaurants on the Bosphorus have two selling points......a) the weather is amazing b) the view is amazing. We are sitting inside with no view, so we are not taking advantage of either one of those. While this is disappointing, our end of the table manages to entertain itself pretty well. While rehashing stories of the trip, we keep ourselves in constant laughter. We then walk to a small cafe where we can sit and digest/relax. A young kid comes up selling roses and we all point to Jim as the guy to sell to. Simpleton Jim yells "We Are" the kid on cue yells "We Are" and Jim yells "Penn State" the kid, in perfect English, yells "Penn State" It is pretty damn cute, and of course it sells Simpleton American Jim. He gives the kid 5 lira and gets a picture in which this kid poses like it is far from his first rodeo.....Turkish lady slayer. As he walks down the alley, the kid yells "Penn State"......should have yelled Iowa/USC, but whatever.

After relaxing at the Cafe, I push for an Irish/English Pub of some sort. We run into a guy who sells us to come into his joint, and for some reason, he is hailed as "Turkish Drew" He has an American Gladiator/Mad Max type outfit on and he is damn near hilarious. He walks us up to what is pretty much our own little private room and claims that acoustic guitar playing will happen. He is combining tables and I meet the only other two people in this room. They are super nice and so excited to hear us do "karaoke"......we were uninformed that us singing was supposed to happen. "Turkish Drew" gets up on stage and starts singing different songs from the book.....I wish I could put into words how funny this way, but it really is not possible. He literally sings, acapella, Nothing Else Matters, and he is not good...... However, the real artist then comes up and he sings somes american classics along with some pretty sweet Turkish songs. Our group then decides to pressure Joe into singing a song. This guy can only play songs that take 4 or less chords, so Joe settles on Losing My Religion. Joe knocks it out of the park, so I decide to give it a shot. I give what anbody would only call a mediocre performance of Every Breath You Take. Joe then follows is up with some solid Pink Floyd.....this bar is right up my alley, but everybody wants to go home

I have already decided that I am going to see the sunset, regardless of companionship. Brian tells me that he wants to join me.....I tell him many times that he doesn't have to do that, but he claims to really want to. As it turns out, Brian is all about it. He is the charasmatic go getter that fuels the whole project. We get down to the docks around 4:30, and we meet some pretty awesome locals. We party with them, but they don't really seem to get my strong desire to see the sunrise. Regardless, I want to see the sunrise. As I watch the sunrise over the Bosphorus, I realize that this trip is even more amazing than I first understood.

We then head back up to the hotel. I pass Tim on the way into the hotel. He is up and getting a morning coffee as I am heading to bed. I tell him this "I can catch up on sleep whenever I want, I am not gonna be back in Istanbul to watch the sunrise for at least 3-4 years." I view sleep on big/long trips as time that could be spent doing something rad. Opportunity cost is huge, just ask EVW.

So my night ended watching an amazing sunset over the Bosphorus Strait with a classmate whose wife is 7 months pregnant (soaking it up Mr. Sarah Conner). It was amazing, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Btw, I love the Turkish flag, and it shows

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