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My journey from Yerevan to Izmir

My journey from Yerevan to Izmir
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    1. I was too early for check-in so I sat at a café and worked for an hour

    I didn't feel like it and said this out loud: "I must do what is required." Would have come off as pretty creepy and ominous had someone heard me.

    2. To register an extra piece of hand luggage, the check-in guy sent me to the office of the airline

    Name of the airline: FlyOne

    3. Security was smooth and uncrowded

    4. The airport in Yerevan is not super exciting but not too sad either

    5. I did my favorite thing: I talked to a stranger

    This woman was photographing the inside of her wallet so I said "Are you showing off how much money you have?"

    She's an ethnic Armenian from Russia who flies to Istanbul very few months to maintain her residency there.

    6. Almost everyone boarding the flight was Russian

    Yerevan - Istanbul is a surprising itinerary and as far as I'm aware, direct flights have only been around for about two years. The land border is, to my knowledge, still closed to tourists but they've been considering opening it in the near future. It was opened for aid purposes after the earthquake.

    7. I listened to the Israel/Palestine debate on the Lex Fridman Podcast during most of the flight

    8. At Istanbul Airport, the ethnic Armenian helped me find my way and I took a cab to my hotel not far from the airport

    I managed to negotiate on the price a little. I had googled the price beforehand to make sure I don't get ripped off.

    9. Nice hotel but surprisingly empty (just one other guy at breakfast in the morning)

    10. In the morning, the airport bus didn't show up (or I missed it) so I booked a shuttle with the hotel

    11. Easy time at the airport (no crowd in the domestic flights security line)

    I didn't talk to any stranger this time!

    12. Easy flight to Izmir

    Kept listening to the Lex Fridman episode.

    13. I struggled to use the transportation system in Izmir so I ended up taking a cab halfway

    14. No internet made it a bit hard but more interesting (I needed to ask people for directions)

    15. I ended up meeting my friend at a coffee shop near her place after I got wifi there

    I met her in Ankara a few years ago and I hosted her in Italy last year. Now I'm staying with her for a few days.

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