When I filed for a work permit in the USA in May 2002, my lawyer in Miami told me that it would be difficult. Especially since the USA was heading towards a recession and the 9/11 attacks made the USA more careful. So he told me to go on a long holiday in the Netherlands (you always have to pick up your work permit - if granted - in your country of birth). I made flight reservations for Miami-London-Amsterdam on June 1, and back Amsterdam-London-Miami for the 6th of July.
Since I didn't want to stay for 5 weeks in the Netherlands I booked a trip to Istanbul for mid June as well, since a girl wanted me to come over 'maybe you can help our company'...
So, on the 10th of June I flew to Istanbul and this girl showed me the first 4 nights Leila, Reina, Sunset and a Mexican bar/restaurant in Etiler. I was shocked! In a culture shock! So different than I expected...and I extended my trip twice - Turkey was playing in the World Soccer Championship...so Istanbul was INTO that, and me too - no need to go back to the Netherlands.
My planned trip of 5 days became a holiday of 14 days. In the end, I didn't have to go to Turkey since the USA granted me a work permit after 10 days...which my Brazilian girlfriend by then, announced me while I was in Turkey...
Anyway, this girl who asked me to come over to help her company 'seduced' me with all these nice restaurants and places. You can find her here...))
Yes, I had to go back to Amsterdam and pick up my work permit and I flew back to Miami in July, where I made the decision to 'emigrate' to Istanbul. Where I married on June 7, 2003 in Ciragan Palace...with this girl, who in fact kidnapped me from my nice place in Miami..))
If you ask me: 'Do you like Turkey', I will say: 'I love it'. People are relaxed but are not aware of the treasures of this country. Yet, I don't like some die-hard Kemalists and ultra-nationalists who are sickening this country all the time, giving Turkey a bad name.
But when being abroad, I am always looking forwards to go back to Istanbul, my last and ever Love.