Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Oh No - Not the Mad Monk - spare me!

When you check into a hotel and want a non-smoking room and the person at reception says ‘we don’t have one of those - but all our rooms are prepared for non-smoking’ what he means is the ashtrays have been emptied.

This is a bit like asking for a non-smoking table in a restaurant in Wien and having the waiter move the ashtray off it.

You cannot turn a smoking room into a non-smoking room without repainting it, washing the curtains, changing the carpet and installing new furniture.

It is bothering Cate more than it bothers me but we will get over it.

Last night we went to a restaurant called Kosebasi - of which there are a few branches in Istanbul.

One blurb says

'Kosebasi was voted as one of "World's 50 Best Restaurants" by the 14,000 members of Conde Nast Traveler magazine and was awarded with "International Tourism, Hotel and Catering Industries Prize" as the best representative of the traditional Turkish cuisine. Kosebasi was also cited as "the best kebab restaurant in Istanbul" by Time magazine.'

Anyway -it was pretty special - and not expensive by Wiener standards - so we were well pleased.

Lenny sent me a link to a video on YouTube but it has been blocked by the Turkish Telecommunications Authority (or someone like that). It is a bit scary to think that there are hundreds of Turks beavering away looking at every video posted on YouTube – and I guess every other site like that – to block those they don’t the locals to see.

Whoops - I have had another look. It looks like the YouTube site is banned completely.

This is a country that wants membership to the EU – but is also a country that doesn’t teach evolution in state schools so you can’t expect too much.

(On the index of Creationist Believers, Turkey is the only ‘western’ first world country that ranks below the USA - i.e. it has more people who believe in Creation).

But – Australia has Internet censorship – and is desperately trying to introduce more stringent restrictions on what it’s citizens can view online – so I am not really in a position to criticise the Turks.

The Turks are really unhappy about the Swiss Minaret decision. In case you missed it the Swiss had a referendum on whether or not Muslims should be allowed to build more Minarets in Switzerland. More than 57% of the Swiss voted against it. The Turks think this is a terrible and racist decision and an affront to the Muslim world. I have a number of views on this and will keep them all to myself.

My LOL moment this week was finding out that Tony Abbott (AKA The Mad Monk) was the new Leader of the Opposition in Australia. This is such an unlikely scenario that I had never really considered it possible.

This is the man who corruptly used his position as Minister for Health in the Howard Government to prevent the abortion drug RU486 from being released in Australia.

He is a far right wing, bible bashing, tub thumping, old testament zealot.

If Tony becomes Prime Minister we won’t have to worry about Internet censorship – there may not be an Internet. Abortion will be illegal – so will atheism and homosexuality.

Boats of asylums seekers will be bombed and strafed. Any terminally ill person who tries euthansia will be put on life support and kept alive (and in agony) forever.

Global warming will offically be declared a myth. The retirement age will be increased to 85. Pensioners will be refused all benefits unless they carry a Rosary.

But we need not worry because Australia would never elect a man who is to the right of Genghis Khan – would they?

I have a scenario that will keep you awake at night. Tony Abbott in Australia and Sarah Palin in the USA.


  1. You could photograph a couple of steeples, while you are out and about!

  2. And moments later, NSW has a new premier - Kristina Keneally, puppet of the right wing, pro-developers. More gnashing of teeth...

  3. I bet Kansas wouldn't be accepted into the EU either (but we might elect Tony Abbott -- or at least put him on the State Board of Education).

  4. Have photos of steeply things.

    She will be gone soon enough - to be replaced by something even worse - the Liberal NSW Right Wing Christian Fundamentalists.

    Kansas Board of Education? Perfect job for him - although he might be too radically right.