Day 1 in Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan / Languages / Travel

To be honest, I do not know if it is really still day 1 of our journey to Kyrgyzstan. After all those flights with changing planes and time zones (Central Europe, Turkey, Central Asia) I am totally confused and would not be able to tell what day and time it is at my home place Bern in Switzerland. Sometimes, we were flying for four hours,...

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Satire, news embargo and social media ban in Turkey Culture / Politics / Travel / Turkey

Today, it was april 1st, that day when everybody tries to fool everybody else. I had a lot of different versions of expressing this in the German version of this blog post, but my English is not good enough, so basically, you are pretty lucky that this introduction ends here. In addition, we already laughed a lot these days. For example about some persiflage of...

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Why I travel – key moment Budapest Hungary / Travel

Once, in the holiday camp, I was not in a holiday camp but in Budapest. To celebrate New Year’s Eve 2012/13. Together with a friend I had rented an apartment. When we stood in front of the house which was directly in the city centre, at Fővám tér, near Liberty Bridge, I realized that this was a normal living house and there was nothing like...

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What I did wrong when I entered Turkey Languages / Turkey

So yesterday I went to Turkey to celebrate my 44th birthday with some very nice friends in Izmir. I guessed that I had gotten pretty used to this almost regular trip from Berne, Switzerland, via Istanbul to Izmir, but then I totally failed at a certain point. At the Istanbul border control I saluted the officer in charge with a nice:

Lost without translation Culture / Refugees / Religion / Turkey

This year I did some things for the very first time in my life. E.g. today I bought some headscarves intended for Muslim ladies. I did this in İskenderun in the south of Turkey in a shop that is heavily related to Muslim and Ottoman culture. And no, I do not want to become a Muslim and a woman at the same time. This is...

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Christmas impressions from İzmir Culture / Religion / Turkey

I know I am late with this subject. But as long as they play Christmas music here at the airport of İzmir (and they do!) I am fine with that. You should, too. So I came to Turkey on december 24th and expected a country without any Christmas decoration. I mean regarding the fact that there are officially 98% Muslims living in this land. I...

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“Just relax” – this is the orient. And it is Christmas. Culture / Diversity / Travel / Turkey

Drama and fortune are always close to each other. Especially when you visit the orient. And I am not even deep inside the Middle East but only at its edge: in Turkey. I got here by taking the airplane from Geneva, Switzerland, via Istanbul to Izmir. So actually the airport in Istanbul was only a transfer station. Wait, “only”? I didn’t know that all the...

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Christianity in contradiction Culture / Politics / Religion

Society becomes more and more contradictory. In Germany there are people demonstrating against the so called Islamisation of Europe and they demand to protect “German” oder “Christian values”. At the same moment, the Christian demand to be at rest at the 7th day gets violated by shops being open even on Sundays. This happens especially – or actually only – at Christmas time, one of...

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