Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Istanbul Memories ... a slightly girly perspective on memories

Living in Istanbul was one of the most challenging, satifying and happiest times of my life so far ... and the perfume I came to love while living there was Carolina Herrera 212.

Beste introduced me to shopping for good copies and my Istanbul 212 fake created this feeling of sunshine on the toughest of days.

Today I realised that it has become the one constant from those days to these Belgian days and no matter how cash-strapped we are, Gert made Herrera 212 a small priority and there's almost always this bottle of happy memories someplace on my desk.

This morning, getting ready to go out and open my very first bank account here in the flatland, I sprayed some on and realised again, the way a perfume can bring back memories of other places and different times.

A bank account eh ... it's been too long.


Manictastic said...

Ohh, a bank account. I hope you took a good bank with high interest rates, since the big ones offer your sratch.
I wonder why you put on perfum to go to the bank. Trying to get something extra ;)

Di Mackey said...

I'm not sure the young woman who opened my account even noticed my perfume. There were problems with opening an account ... it seems not many kiwis have signed up in my area (as in none) and then she couldn't believe that NZers don't have identity cards.

I said nothing about how odd I find the need to carry proof of identity on my person at all times.

So 6 days for an appointment, now 5 days for paper processing in Brussels and I still have to take in my passport to be copied (my Belgian card wasn't enough and there might be problems) and then on the 6th day, I should be able to go pick up my card. I was too scared (and depressed) to know how long it might take to clear a cheque.

All this because I wanted to cash a cheque ...

You would die if you saw how easy this process is in NZ.

furiousBall said...

Given my Armenian name (although I'm actually more Irish), I doubt I'd ever be able to visit there comfortably. Which is a shame, I've heard lots of good stuff about Istanbul.

Di Mackey said...

I would be stunned if you ran into trouble over there. The media has a habit of beating up the news but I found the Turks of Istanbul to be incredibly cosmopolitan and open-hearted.

Seriously, I wouldn't give your Armenian name a second thought. They have catholic churches, Jewish cemeteries, it's multi-national and fabulous.

My friends would look out for you if you have any doubts :)

V-Grrrl said...

Oh Gert is a good, good man to acknowledge the power and need for a certain fragrance. It really does transport one to a good place.

When I came to Belgium, I had only what was in my suitcase and I'd traveled light on personal "luxuries" because we had so many important files and such to hand carry. I didn't bring my fragrance. And it was so difficult for me, as silly as that sounds.

I found a bottle of Ralph Lauren Romance marked down on clearance and bought it. I'd never worn it before but loved it. It's the scent of my early days here.

Later I bought a Belgian perfume from Namur and I wear it everyday, can't sleep without it on my pillow. It's a rich oriental scent.

I also love Lancome's Miracle So Magic, a soft floral.

Manictastic said...

Well, we, Belgians, are obliged to carry ID at all time once we cross a certain age. Just to clearify, yes, you have crossed that certain age. :D

Yea, the Anglo-Saxon world is really open qua monetary policy. I once used a credit card in the UK, and all I had to do was sign the bill. I didn't even need my code, which I specially memorized for the procedure :(

Tip: once you get your credit card to accompany your account, remember the code if you want to use it.

Di Mackey said...

Curious about the Namur perfume I am.

He is lovely, isn't he but he benefits too. It's the perfume I was wearing when he met me :)

Thanks for the clarification re: my age, Manic.

I'll remember the code Manic. I've been using them for years and as I might have been heard to say to Gert 'Back in the western world ...' on those rare occasions when something goes wrong here in Belgium ;)

In NZ, the banks compete for your custom. In retrospect, it all seems very luxurious.

Inge said...

Yep, it's definitely easier to set up your life in New Zealand than in bureaucratic Belgium. The red tape frustrated the hell out of my Kiwi man when we were living in Flandres, which isn't surprising if you know that it takes a mere 20min. to open a bank account in NZ, half a day to get dial-up internet access, and less than two days to get your phone connected! But hang in there Di - Belgium has its perks after all, no?

Di Mackey said...

Oh Inge, you did make me smile. I feel so disloyal to Belgie sometimes but ohhhhhhhhhh, it's so difficult. It was closed for lunch when I took my number in to pick up my card yesterday .... arggghh!

Belgium does have it's perks and I picked up a job today so I'm delighted presently.