Saturday, July 31, 2010

Catching up!!

Wow, it's been awhile. Sorry the extreme delay between posts!

Since I last posted, I have done so much. I have been to Edirne, Cappadocia, Selcuk (Ephesus), and Fethiye.

After the last post, Joy and I went to the Prince's Islands. These are the islands just off the coast of Istanbul. It is very easy to go there; it takes about an hour by ferry. There isn't much to do there except look at architecture and eat. There is a beach on one of the islands, but we didn't go. It was a relaxing way to spend a day.

Beach at Kinaliada

I also went to Cappadocia with Peter and Rauan. It was an amazing, breathtaking experience. This was my first trip out of Istanbul, and it was the one furthest away (so far). Cappadocia is Turkey's oddball spot - there isn't another place like it. There are 3 volcanoes in the region that were at one point active. Their rock formations are really cool, and when people first inhabited the region they carved their (cave) houses in the rocks. There are still churches with original frescoes in them.

Edirne was my next trip. I only spent the day there. It reminded me of Istanbul except there weren't as many people there. There are old mosques and a nice bazaar area to tour.

Selimiye Mosque

The last trip I took, I started by going to Selcuk, which is where the ancient city of Ephesus is located. That was another breathtaking site. From Selcuk I took a bus to Fethiye. Fethiye is a bigger city that is close to a lot of popular beaches. The famous beach I went to was Oludeniz. It was the most beautiful place I have ever seen. The water was clear and blue.

 At the ruins of St. John's Basilica

 Celsus Library

Tomorrow I am going to Eskisehir for the day. I have an old friend from there, and I am going to visit. After Eskisehir I will be going to Ankara for the day and catching the night train back.

Work is still going really well. I have mostly been doing data entries and helping people with their English. I love my company, but I don't think I would ever work there permanently unless I was teaching English. They have been my family here, which is so relieving to have had. I have 2 more weeks of work and a few more trips to take. I am planning to go to Alanya as well as possibly the Black Sea region and/or Canakkale (I still haven't been!).

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Last Week at Bilkent

Hello all,
Last week was the final week of my internship at Bilkent, which I primarily spent compiling literature reviews. I enjoyed my time at Bilkent, I was a little sad to leave because I know I will probably never see any of the people that I worked with again.

The weekend after my internship ended, I went to a town on the Black Sea called Ak├žakoca. It was a nice little town, but nothing too exciting going on there. The sea was nice, less saltier than the other seas but much more rough and rocky. I swam near some tiny jellyfish. Now that my internship is finished, I am preparing for the GRE which I will take when I return home in a few weeks. I plan to spend the rest of my time in Ankara and 1 of my weekends in Bodrum with some friends.

Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed reading my blog. I will try to post some pictures when I finally have the chance to upload them. Thank you!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Week 1 and 2 in Singapore

Greetings from Singapore! I am Sharon and I’ve been working at LEO Pharma Asia Regional Office for 2 weeks now. After taking the finals for my Spring classes on Friday, I hopped onto the 30-hour transpacific flight and then started my internship on the following Tuesday. It was very tiring, but life here in Singapore couldn’t be any better: friendly people everywhere, great food, great malls, awesome transportation system, you name it! With the diverse population in this metropolitan, you can hear all kinds of languages being spoken on the street. To me, this place is just like New York, but much cleaner and has more greenery in this city-state.

Working at LEO Pharma is an eye-opening experience. LEO Pharma is a Denmark-based pharmaceutical company mainly focusing on psoriasis and critical care treatment. It is a rather small company compared to the Pharma Giants, but working in a smaller company allows me to gain more experience in each department, besides getting to know everyone more personally. I was working with the Asia Commercial Team in organizing a 3-day product training event for our sales and marketing representatives from 8 countries across Asia. The first week of my internship was extremely hectic: I’ve worked extra hours till 8.30pm for few days and even stayed till 10pm for one day. In such busy times no one leaves the office at 5.30pm. I was granted a chance to attend the training event for only 1 day. The event was great and I’ve got to know a lot of international representatives, besides gaining comprehensive knowledge about one of our many products: innohep® - a safe and efficient anticoagulant for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE) treatment. : )

Work aside, I have been touring and feasting around Singapore with a bunch Michigan Singaporeans who return for Summer break. Singapore is blessed with great food, especially ethnic food! The greatest thing is that you can get good food any time of the day, even at 2am. We sometimes catch up in the middle of the night, have some traditional “pulled” tea and good Indian food before heading off to catch the World Cup at my friend’s place.

you will never worry about midnight hunger pangs in Singapore

the famous Milo "dinosaur": hot chocolate drink with extra chocolate powder on top.

I was also fortunate enough to be able to attend the Singapore National Day Parade (NDP) rehearsal.

it was raining but luckily ponchos were provided in the goodie bags

Unique architectures can be found everywhere in Singapore, not to mentioned that the night scenery is stunningly pretty!

The latest attraction: Marina Bay Sands. there is a casino in the building. :)

Life is good so far. Will update more soon!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bilkent Week 7 and 8

Hi all
This week and the week before, I have been doing pretty much the same thing at work. I have already collected articles for research and now I am compiling literature reviews of the articles. I always get excited when I see a UM faculty member cited in the articles.
Last weekend, I went to Istanbul for a wedding, which was cool to see. It was actually quite similar to an American wedding (they were wed at a court which was followed by a reception), but I am assuming that is because the family is not an extremely traditional Turkish family. But, one major difference is that rather than giving the bride and groom a card with a check, the guests bring gold as a gift. The wedding was also neat for me because there were a few UM alum there (mostly Turkish but 1 other American). This weekend I will stay in Ankara and relax, I will not really do anything exciting.
The weather in Turkey this summer is rather unusual because it rains frequently, which is uncommon in June and July. Despite this, it is still warm but I guess it is generally really hot at this time of year.

Monday, July 5, 2010

3nd Weekend in Istanbul

Emily and I went to one of the Prince's Island, which is a very famous island in Istanbul. It took about one hour to get to the island. The island is popular for seafood and the architecture of the houses. There are horse riding around the island and the a bike to ride. However, we just walked around. We also stopped at one of the restaurant. I had one local dish of local fish. They called it red mullet.

We took the same ferry back to the dorm but we were so tired that we missed our stop because both of us were sleeping. However, I manage to find another ferry back to our dorm.