May 02, 2015

same old

flat rents in istanbul have spiked. i had noticed, but this Hurriyet Daily article gives some actual figures. sidenote: poorly written overall imho. for kadiköy the increase was around 10% last year, but i can say with confidence that the central kadiköy area where we live has seen a higher increase, from what i see and hear - about 20%.  so the rent renewal negotiation this january was extra hard - but so we are still here for at least another year. surely the law is technically on the tenants side, maximum increase is x % per year (tied wholesale price index) and so on. but who really wants to fight with a landlord and possibly go to court if and when they are powerful...  the law may be what it is, practical life is another thing.

speaking of prices, i just received my finnish phone bill. i pay 2,90 euros per month for the priviledge of having a functional phone connection, but it automatically includes unlimited internet (although slow; 256 kbps / 256 kbps). in turkey i have a prepaid deal, but for cheaper monthly plans its the same: 1GB for 8,20 euros/month. and its still not super fast - i wont quote official speeds because theyre worth less than the html they are written on. in prepaid i don't pay a monthly fee, but there is a monthly tax, around 0,50 euros. soooo, its pretty fucked up, in a land of much lower income i pay way more for my internets. also for the home internet, same thing. at least there is 2 of us sharing it.

last week i went to a hamam with Maiju who was visiting from finland. its been a while since i did that. i got a full body scrub and that was refreshing too. hamams are really beautiful inside, too bad one cant photograph there...

and last saturday was a birthday party day. first a picnic near Besiktas for Carina with all her friends, even the sun showed up and it was quite nice with snacks and wine. then a dinner with Maiju and her friends to celebrate her birthday.

 Nevizade's restaurant nightlife

this week was quieter - home, work...  the usual :) we did go to a our friends place on the european side for dinner on thursday, stayed until 2am...  and when returning home via taksim square it was filled with tv station vans, that were preparing for the May Day "war". as usual, the center of the city was in lock-down, not even ferries between the continents running.

ive found a new "relationship reality" from FYI channel; Arranged. its similar to Married At First Sight, but the marriages are arranged by the parents. not surprisingly, it follows a gypsy, indian and a southern baptist couple. okay the last one i didnt expect. anyway, watching this makes me feel quite lucky, not that arranged couples are automatically a bad fit - not at all, but some of these individuals are its a cultural difference thing too, Marriage At First Sight features sort of "generic" mainstream people, whereas the people in Arranged represent some minority religions and groups which are far from my comfort zone. of course personality is another thing, but they are intertwined...  the southern baptist women all agree that women belong home, and "should be pregnant, not president". and these are all well-off white american people...of course they exist, but to really see it is another thing.

tried a new nailpolish combo.

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