Travel Information for Turkey
For those of you who heard my April 3 report on Turkey, here is
additional information. For those of you who didn't listen in, you have a second chance. Go to
You'll find my segment 25 minutes into the April 3 program.
Or you can see the TV version and see pictures.
Here is the tip list.
First, you need to get there. I recommend Turkish Airlines, which
currently has five U.S. gateways. They are Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, DC, New York and Houston. The latter city was just added to the roster this month. All flights land non-stop in Istanbul. Expect more announcements of U.S. hubs to come.
In case you didn't know it, Turkish Airlines flies to more countries than any airline in the world. It's part of the Star Alliance. And, because it regularly offers special deals, the airline's prices to international destinations are often the best available. So, even if you aren't going to Turkey, but are going long-haul, check them out.
Americans need a visa to enter Turkey. Don't worry-it's hassle-free. When you get to the Istanbul airport, you will be directed to a visa payment booth. There rarely are lines, and you get through quickly, as it's a simple cash transaction. That noted, be sure to bring $20 U.S. Turkish lira and credit cards are not accepted.
If you plan to visit Istanbul, check out this official website. It's packed with sightseeing suggestions, and advice on where to stay and how to get around.If you are interested in experiencing a hammam, or a Turkish bath, here is the skinny on that cultural experience.
Just "did the math"
In putting together some information, I worked this out:
Body is in equilibrium (person eats exactly what is needed to maintain weight)
Person is used to eating a Smoked Turkey Sandwich from Panera Bread every day for lunch:
-- 520 calories
-- $6/day X 20 = $120/month (need to check that -- couldn't find it online)
-- takes 30 minutes to travel roundtrip by car/order/wait for order
If you switched to making your own sandwich at home:
-- 180 calories (using Nature's Own Whole wheat bread)
Blood donation restrictions: who decides? how?
One of the research labs near me is asking for volunteers to donate bone marrow, and I got curious and started looking into the procedure. In the process, I stumbled across some information about blood donation that I had known but hadn't really questioned at the time... but now I'm curious!
What has me confused are the restrictions based on travel history. The American Red Cross, for example, says you're not eligible to donate blood if:
"From January 1, 1980, through December 31, 1996, you spent (visited or lived) a cumulative time of 3 months or more, in the United Kingdom (UK), or
From January 1, 1980, to present, you had a blood transfusion in any country(ies) in the (UK)
Some Links to Inform, and Enrage
Resources on 9/11 and the War on Afghanistan
Middle East Times (Cairo)
The Frontier Post from Peshawar, Pakistan
The Times of Central Asia (extensive coverage from Kyrgyzstan)