Sunday, December 9, 2012

24. Asthma. And Stats.

I had a cough for several weeks. Just a dry, persistent cough with no other symptoms. So, the Consulate nurse sent me to our swanky hospital to see a pulmonologist who prescribed Sudafed and Aferin. However, a girl cannot take those indefinitely. Back to see the Consulate doctor who has upgraded my condition from an allergy to coal dust in the air (and general big city smog) to a mild environmental asthma that I'll now be treating with Singulair to see if that helps. Welcome to Istanbul!

This turn of events, along with hearing that our cleaning person doesn't have heat in his house (what?!), prompted me to dig deeper into the state of life in Turkey. Here are some basic facts and figures I found interesting while studying the Internet and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD) site--which brings together most of the world’s developed economies and a number of emerging economies, plus Brazil and Russia.

Population 74.8M
Renewable energy 10.57%

Population 304.2M 

Renewable energy 5.65%

If Turkey was your home instead of the United States you would:

1.  Have 4x higher chance of dying in infancy
2.  Consume 87% less oil
3.  Use 80% less electricity
4.  Make 76% less money
5.  Have 56% more chance of being unemployed
6.  Spend 91% less money on health care

7.  Have 32% more babies
8.  Die 6 years sooner

9.  Experience 9% less of a class divide
10. Be 83% less likely to have HIV/AIDS


Turkey: PM10--tiny particulate matter small enough to be inhaled into the deepest part of the lung--is monitored in OECD countries because it can harm human health and reduce life expectancy. In Turkey, PM10 levels are 37.1 micrograms per cubic meter, much higher than the OECD average of 22 micrograms per cubic meter.

United States:
In the U.S., PM10 levels are 19.4 micrograms per cubic meter, lower than the OECD average of 22 micrograms per cubic meter. On the whole, air quality has improved since the mid-1990s.

Turkey: The obesity rate among adults--based on self-reported height and weight--was 15.2% in 2008. This is much lower than for the United States.

United States:
The obesity rate among adults is of 33.8%. This is the highest rate among the 21 OECD countries with self-reported data, with an average of 14.9% in 2008. Three out of four people in the U.S. are projected by the OECD to be overweight or obese within 10 years. 40% of American children are currently overweight. Of these, half are obese.


Turkey: 26% of women have jobs. This is much less than the OECD average of 59% and the 67% employment rate of men in Turkey. This 41% gender difference is much higher than the OECD average of 13% and the highest amongst OECD countries. This suggests employment opportunities for women could be improved. (Um, ya think!?) Young Turkish people aged 15-24 also face difficulties with an unemployment rate of 21.7%.

The wages and other monetary benefits that come with employment are an important aspect of job quality.
Despite a general increase in living standards across OECD countries over the past fifteen years, not all people have benefited from this to the same extent. In Turkey, the income of the top 20% of the population is $25,894 USD a year, whereas the bottom 20% live on $3,179 USD a year.

United States:
62% of women have jobs. This is more than the OECD average of 59% but less than the 71% employment rate of men in the U.S. 

In the United States, people earn $52,607 per year on average (much higher than the OECD average $34,033). Not everyone earns that amount however. Whereas the top 20% of the population earn $109,508 per year, the bottom 20% live on $16,682 per year.

Interesting stuff. And now I have to add R. & J. to the list of things to contemplate--winter is cold here, no one should live without heat. xx


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

23. Out of My Comfort Zone.

Just tying up one last loose string from my previous blog about the BBC. Our home away from home ... away from home ... British brew pub here in Istanbul!

The hubster mentioned to the owner's son (who then mentioned to his dad), that I have learned calligraphy in the past. Oh boy! Well, that doesn't translate to chalk—but the hubster would not take "no" for an answer when said pub owner asked me to draw up their current beer selection. He went off on an adventure to find chalk in this ding-dang city, we spent a couple of afternoons at the pub, and voila! My first attempt at chalk writing is complete. Good enough for now—but I have seriously considered getting a chalkboard so I can practice fancier writing in my free time.

Always the over-achiever! xx

Not as fancy as I'd like—
but it's a start.

Dipping sauce = a puree of garlic,
roasted red peppers, olive oil. Delish!

I love Yorkshire pudding!

Imperial stout.
My favorite offered at this pub.

My barley strikes me as being
a bit Roman!