Istanbul Day 7 – 3.20.2015

Today we woke up and again were able to have a delicious (and calm) breakfast in the clubhouse. Afterwards we went to the auditorium on campus to hear an economics lecture about the shadow economy (i.e. all legal goods that are exchanged in a certain area without being properly documented/taxed). It was interesting to hear about the shadow economy in both Turkey and other countries around the world.

After the lecture, we walked down a few flights of stairs (still on campus) and came to the Asiyan museum. Before even entering the museum, you come to an opening with incredible views of the Bosphorus. Yes, most of the campus gives you incredible views of the Bosphorus, but now that we were at a lower altitude (i.e. closer to sea level) there were fewer trees in the way, so you could really see the sea.

The Asiyan museum was interesting – it essentially served as the house for different poets throughout the years and different rooms had memorabilia, poems and/or pictures. My favorite room was the bedroom, which had a giant window overlooking the Bosphorus.

After the museum, Indrani and I went to the ATM on campus. On the way back, I saw a white tent near the campus quad, and curious, we made our way over. Almost immediately I could tell that it was the start of a road race. As we did a 360 turn around, we realized that there was red and white tape going around the campus. Soon thereafter the starting gun sounded and the runners (of many different speeds!) were off. Indrani and I had a blast cheering them on and after four laps around the campus course (maybe about 1.5 miles total) they started finishing the race and Indrani and I headed back to the clubhouse.

After a quick lunch in the dining hall, we got into the shuttle to go visit Istanbul’s Technical University. Here we also sat through an informational presentaiotn and then got to tour the facilities a bit. Everything reminded me of Harvard’s i-lab, especially the part about giving entrepreneurs of all different stages funding, mentorship, desk space and other resources.

We then took a quick trip to a nearby mall to do some more shopping (and by shopping I mean mostly eating). After an hour in the mall, we had some free time in our hotel and then we were off to a special dinner – “Turkish traditional night.”

When I was in Spain, one of my favorite memories was a final farewell dinner I had with about 20 of my Physical Geography classmates – the food was delicious, and we took turns dancing and taking pictures in-between courses. Turns out this traditional Turkish dinner was very, very similar.

It also turns out that the Management and Economics club is way more than the 8 delegates who came to Harvard – there are about 70 members in total, and many of them (whom we had not met before) came to this traditional Turkish dinner!

It was crowded and hectic but SO much fun. We started with appetizers (very tapas-like!), then a three-piece band came in and people (myself included, obviously!) started dancing. The band then left (but only after we gave them money!) and we ate our main course (not that we were very hungry, since the appetizers were delicious!) Next, the band returned, and so did the dancing. The main course was fish and it was served with Raki – a traditional Turkish vodka that turns into a cloudy/milky consistency once water is added to it.

All in all, it was about a four-hour dinner/dancing session, and afterwards we wandered through the very crowded streets, got back on the bus and went back to our hotel.

TGT: 1) Traditional Turkish dinner (and dancing!) 2) views from the Asiyan museum 3) delicious breakfast

Until next time,
~JK

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