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How can a trip go bad…

  1. For once more, I didn’t have enough time to prepare for my participation in the project meeting. There were so many tasks ongoing and my participation to the Training Course during the previous week did not leave me any free time to work on the preparations for my trip to Izmir. I only slept 4 hours before the flight.
  2. Even though I live just 10-15 mins from the Athens airport, I still had to wake up at 05.00 in order to get a taxi that would lead me to the airport and catch the morning flight to Istanbul . There is no public mean of transportation operating before 07.00
  3. It was the first time I was scared during a flight: The plane from Istanbul to Izmir was shaking so heavily that I almost fell off my seat.
  4. When we reached Izmir, there was a heavy rain. It was raining so much that we couldn’t even walk at the sidewalk.
  5. We arrived so late, that we only had time to check in at the hotel and leave our staff before going to the Yasar University for the project meeting.
  6. Nothing was covered by the project meeting organizers (e.g. coffee and lunch breaks) so we had to organize and pay things on our own.
  7. I had to make a really big presentation the next day, which I had not prepared, and my colleague provided me with feedback/revisions at 23.30 so I had to work overnight to finish it. Another 4 hours of sleep.
  8. The schedule of the next day’s agenda was so changed, that I lost track… lack of sleep contributed to it as well.
  9. During the 2nd night at Izmir I collapsed, so I slept from 22.00 to 06.30. I missed the chance to go outside but at least I got some sleep! 
  10. . I was supposed to present a paper on Wednesday evening but there was not enough time so my presentation was moved to Thursday morning. I had planned to get some sleep on Thursday morning and probably see anything of Izmir (it would be my first time to go out of the hotel/university campus and see how Izmir looks like.
  11. . My presentation sucked big time: There was no way to see my slides apart from turning to the wall, while the microphone was located in front of me. A light was blinding me while I was trying to see the audience. Soon I lost the sequence of my presentation and I started saying nonsense. I wondered if anyone was paying attention to what I was saying.
  12. . The taxi driver that took us from the university to the airport apparently ripped us off, since we had to pay 68 Turkish liras for the trip.  I think he made a circle outside the city, only to enter it again after some kilometers. You cannot avoid such things if you are not a local. Taxi drivers did not speak English at all…
  13. . When we arrived at Izmir airport we were informed that our flight was cancelled and  we would be assigned to another one 2 hours later… damn, we forgot to check in last night from the hotel.
  14. . On the last morning at Izmir, I changed 50 euros to Turkish liras in order to have money for the taxi and the duty free (I dreamed of buying something for my wife). Unfortunately, for the flight from Izmir to Istanbul there are no duty free shop (domestic flight) and there will be no time to visit the duty free shops at Istanbul due to the change of the flight. My current chances to visit Turkey in the near future are less than zero so I will be stuck with some 50 liras in my pocket.
  15. . Izmir airport smells of smoke and some kitchen/cooking odor. I feel sick already.
  16. . The public means of transportation in Athens are on a general strike, so I had to call my wife to come and pick me up with my sick son. UPDATE: I will arrive in Athens so late (after 00:00) that my wife will not be able to pick me up.
  17.   The 17.00 flight from Istanbul to Athens was 2 hours delayed, so if we hadn’t changed the tickets we might have been able to catch the flight to Athens… who would have thought about that…

The BEST holidays

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