This wonderful April-like weather isn’t enough of a downer- a co-worker here at MW1 commited suicide over the weekend. And just now I discover that the Turkish cycling legend Rifat Caliskan (2nd from the right- my father Irfan is on far left) has passed away from a heart attack. He was a friend of the family who raced with my father in the late 60’s, who coached me in the summer of 1989, and who was Turkey’s answer to Eddy Merckx at one time. RIP.
It always amuses me how this country went from having three or four auto brands back when I was a kid, to now having more than we have in the US. Back in the 70s, the only cars on the road were LADA, Skoda, Renault and TOFAS (Turkish FIAT). These days we see such oddities as SEAT, Peugeot, and OPEL- all of which make very handsome cutting edge vehicles. Then of course the ubiquitous Kia, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Hyundai, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, VW, and Volvo are everywhere. I have not seen any Saabs. Honda Accords look like Integras and Civics look like American Accords. Weird. Imports such as Land Rovers and Lincoln Navigators cost DOUBLE, yet you see more in one day than we see in a month driving in New England. On the interstate highway between Istanbul and Ankara, we were passed by some pretty sick drivers doing nearly 200 kph in their Beamers and Benzes. Speaking of BMW- I saw one yesterday which looked like it was on steroids- a kind of bad-ass looking cross-over. I would like to have one-but even with my generous income, it's impractical and out of reach (I'm a cheap bastahd) How do they afford it? Well apparently there are two classes here- have and have not. Both are immense. Middle class is a minority. Time for breakfast. Its rainy out today so we're keeping the rental car one more day.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry