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Back from Istanbul

Turkey flag

Got back from our trip to Istanbul this Friday. We all had a great time and the weather was just perfect (ranging from 12-17 C with light rains). I would definitely recommend it and if time permits; one should also include Antalya in the tour which is also a major tourist attraction of Turkey.

The package was arranged nicely and went smoothly as per the provided plan. It accounted for three days of our six day tour and we visited different places during the remaining three days and I have a good friend to thank, for giving me all the right details.


I’m going to list down our activities during this week-long trip which others could consider if they are also planning to head out there.

  • Day 1: Guided tour of the city. We were taken to the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar.
  • Day 2: A ship cruise across the Bosporus and we got off the Asian side and were taken by Bus to a nice veiw-point that also had 53 variety of tulips and an excellent view of the coastline. After that we were taken to some souvenir shops and a mall (the mall can be skipped, they are all the same).
  • Day 3: A ship cruise to one of the Princes’ Islands. It was very peaceful and scenic with lots of cafes and stalls and a nice horse carriage ride through the island. Spent the evening on our own exploring the Taksim area and buying souvenirs and stuff.
  • Day 4: Visited Istiklal Avenue that has a lot of shops and stalls. They also have a street that is filled with shops selling musical instruments of all sorts. Almost bought a mouth-organ there.
  • Day 5: Visited the Dolmabahce Palace and then walked over to the Ortakoy Pier right under the Bosporus Bridge. Later on bought tickets for and attended a mesmerizing Sufi music and dance show that consisted of swirling dervishes and a sufi band.
  • Day 6: Visited the Ayasofya Mosque and then the Basilica Cistern (Sunken Palace). On the way back we also went to the Spice Bazaar.


I would definitely recommend one to get hold of a city map and then utilize the excellent mass transit system they have to move around. Everything is nicely interconnected (subway, trams, rails, etc.).

More pictures, here.


Fast & Furious 4 – Review


This weekend, I along with a few colleagues and friends had a boy’s night out (it was more of a lukewarm, boy’s evening out). We booked the tickets at the Avenues cineplex and later had dinner at TGIF. There was a lot of mall roaming involved and checking out stuff at Alghanim Electronics (I just love doing that).

‘New model. Original Parts.’

That’s the slogan of the fourth and latest Fast & Furious installment. It brings back Vin Diesel and Paul Walker from the original cast and the results are – not that great.

So back to the movie – watching it on the large screen definitely brought out some scenes, especially the intro scene which I personally enjoyed a lot (even though it was a little too, ‘come on! they can’t do that!’). In addition to that it was just fun watching it with friends with comments flying all around. There wasn’t anything unique or fresh about the plot and most people were there just for the ‘ride’. Unfortunately they didn’t have that awesome camera-work from the 3rd part where it was running from one car to another mid-scenes. They also had a few chase scenes inside a mine but you couldn’t make out much because of the tight angles. The movie also caters to muscle car fans and ricers. I belong to the former type.

I’ll only recommend this to fans of the series and if you enjoy watching elaborate (yet somewhat shaky) car chase scenes.

By the way, TGIF has this deal going on whereby you get a 15% discount on your bill if you show them a ticket of the same day from the cineplex.

8×10 Tasveer – Review


Yesterday we went over to the Avenues to watch the latest hindi thriller – 8×10 Tasveer (picture). I’m not a huge fan of hindi movies but I must say it was a refreshing watch.

Th movie was quite different from the standard fare and I have a suspicion that the content is a rip-off (which is usually the case when you get a ‘different’ movie coming from Bollywood).

It stars Akshay Kumar and the story revolves around him where his father has just died in an accident on a boat where some other friends and family members were also present. Soon a murder conspiracy starts and we follow the hero through the plot twists and turns. The interesting part of his character is that he has a supernatural power through which he can look at pictures and psychologically transport himself to any person in that picture at that moment in time and see what happens from that person’s eye-view for about a minute. Its portrayed to be a potentially life-threatening skill that for some reason leaves him needing a blood transfusion almost every time he does it.

A view of the inside of the new Avenues multiplex. Very nicely done design which I couldn't capture properly.

A view of the inside of the new Avenues multiplex. Very nicely done design which I couldn't capture properly.

I won’t say much to ruin the plot, but its definitely a fun watch that had us guessing and re-guessing the culprit. Rohail was pretty much alright through it with an occassional comment, though there was this guy sitting a few seats from us continuously burping!

My iPod SwitchEasy RebelTouch cover


Last month I got the delivery of the SwitchEasy RebelTouch iPod cover I had ordered. Ever since I got my iPod Touch 2G, I’ve been on the search for a cover that would not only protect my iPod; but also make it look good. This cover fits the bill perfectly, IMO. It has a sleek hard plastic outer-shell that protects it and also lets it get in and out of your pockets with ease, while on the inside it has a softer silicone-type cover. They have given a lot of thought to the design of this cover as it offers the right feel for the buttons (which actually get hidden inside as well). I almost felt it made the tactile response even better.

The best thing is that they give you a ton of extras included in the already reasonable price. Below is a picture of the entire contents of the package – image courtesy of iLounge Review.


That’s basically two screen protectors (which is great, as I managed to ruin one while applying it), a screen cleaner, a squeegee to apply the cover, a port protector, a universal dock adaptor, a video stand and a headphone port extender (which is really useful if your regular headphones don’t fit easily).

Too bad they don’t have them here in Kuwait. Even if they did, I’m guessing it would be selling for rip-off prices.

Visit to Cox’s Bazar

We went to visit my cousin and his family in Chittagong over the weekend. He planned an amazing 2-days trip to Cox’s Bazar, which is supposedly the world’s longest natural beach. The weather was awesome and the waves were aggressive. Rohail was totally terrified of the water and spent most of his time outside the water playing in the sand.

The best part for us when it started raining heavily while we were in the water; that is one unique experience. Rohail also had a great time with his two cousins, Lamisa and Waafee and became quite close to everybody during our stay with my cousin and his family.

The bad news is that I was using my camera (Kodak Z612) while it was raining lightly and apparently its messed up the CCD on it. Below is an example of the sort of pictures I’m getting now. I’ve done some research and it seems it isn’t worth the repair as I don’t have any warranty on it now. On the bright side; I can get a newer and better camera now – suggestions are most welcome.

You can check out the pictures I managed to get before I damaged the camera, here.

My Asus EEE 900 review

We’re once again in Dhaka for 1-2 months and then headed to Lahore for a month. All this moving around lately has increased and due to this I decided to get a portable laptop for my wife, Maliha so she can chat and surf while I’m at work during the day.

Basically, we didn’t need to have another full-sized laptop to lug around and from this perspective; the Asus EEE series has been a real blessing. ‘Netbooks’ is the name awarded to the recent small laptops that are popping up everywhere.

I was going to order mine on Amazon, but learnt that Best Buy (fake one) was selling it in Hawally. I thought I’d check it out and after roaming around for a while I found a shop (a few shops before Best Buy) that gave me a pretty good deal at K.D.140 which is quite competitive to what I’d have paid to Amazon.

I got a black EEE 900 and this is the 20GB Linux version. The Linux based OS it comes with is decent but doesn’t give me sufficient flexibility. I formatted it and installed Windows XP instead. FYI, they also sell one preloaded with Windows XP for about the same price, but that has a 12 GB HD, so why lose out on extra space? It also comes with a very nice pouch to keep it cozy.

We’ve been using it for a month now (mostly her though) and its an amazing little device.

Maliha's netbook

Maliha's netbook

The first thing you notice is how small it is. At 225 x 165 x 35mm (WxDxH), I can place two of these back to back to have a footprint the same size as my 14.1″ HP laptop. The 8.9″ screen is pretty sharp and can go up to a decent 1024×600 resolution. The 1 GB RAM keeps things moving at a decent pace. The 1.3MP built-in camera performs really well with the IMs and the wireless network works like a charm. 20 GB of solid state space is sufficient and efficient for its purpose. What’s more; the touchpad supports multi-touch and gives you some pretty cool ways to scroll (using two fingers) and zoom in/out of pics by pinching. The battery life is decent and it gives around 2+ hours of usage.

Weirdly enough, the speakers are placed beneath the body, though I find this aesthetically more pleasing than on the sides like in the 700 series models. The only downside so far is that typing isn’t as convenient as on a standard laptop. The keys are small and it takes some time to get used to it.

Overall, I’d say this is a very impressive machine yet it serves a specific purpose. If you are looking for a power-horse, this is not it. If you are looking for something ultra-portable, light, that lets you do basic stuff and even watch movies and listen to music; you can’t go wrong with this Asus.

The Best Worst Book Review

This is a really funny review on what seems to be the worst book ever written. It actually makes me want to read the book.

Check out the first review at below link and even the comments against the reviews are a hilarious read.

One of the seemingly numerous jewels in this book: “Already, he knew he wouldn’t be able to do it. In fact, he KNEW he wouldn’t.” ROFL!!!


Who Am I?

A Pakistani living and working in Kuwait who enjoys movies, gadgets, photography, technology, cars and a good book. This blog is all about things that interest me and what is going on in My Life.

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