Saturday, June 30, 2012

Istanbul, Day 2: My New Home

Ah, my headache of the day before was gone when I awoke.

Made Nescafe in my room with the little plastic kettle Sandy bequeathed to me.

Eventually walked down and around to the adjacent cafe for breakfast. Frankly, a bit of a ho-hum affair, though I was surprised at the tiny container of .... spreadable chocolate! for one's bread. (Realized later it was probably Nutella.)

Finished off with a cup of tea. Nice that it wasn't presumed I wanted sugar in it.

Actually, what I really finished off with was a squeeze bottle dollop of lemon water for my hands (and face, if I wanted), offered to me by the waiter. What a refreshing practice, especially in such hot weather.

New home. Went upstairs and the co-manager, Mustafa, helped me change rooms. I really like my new room. It's even got a sink in it.

Istanbul - view from room
And I have a view of the street in front of the hotel entrance. Also, the window doesn't face the sun directly. Indeed, the small room is cleanly monastic. Pleasing.

Now I'm set up in my new home for the next three weeks. Feels good.

Lazed about for much of the day.

Timeless. I feel bereft without a portable timekeeper. I don't have my TLG-provided cell phone anymore, my impotent phone from the U.S. refuses to tell me the time here (though it did in Georgia), and I lost my wristwatch in Dubai. I found a mall nearby that seems to specialize in watches and small clocks, finding one or two I liked from a vendor, but we were unable to come to an agreement on the price. He was asking 30 lira; I offered 20; he came to 25. And that's where we stopped. So, in USD, about $3 separates us. Neither of us was a jerk about it, so if I get really desperate, I can go back and pay his price; no face lost.

Meals. Oh. Yes. Guilty pleasure for lunch. Burger King. And a so-so caramel ice cream cone.

Watermelon for dinner, at an absurdly high price. I'm still in my mullet phase, clearly.

Istanbul dogs

Cats and dogs. There are a lot of cats in Istanbul. I didn't see any dogs until dusk, which seems to be when they came out. Maybe they're smart enough to stay in the shade when it's hot.

A slice of evening Sultanahmet life on a corner below. I thought the guy raising his arms was going to do something interesting, but [spoiler alert!] ...  no ... On the other hand, I really do like the muezzin's voice. A far cry (get it?) from the three-headed singer in Dubai.


Turkey is known for its sweets. Some porn below:

Istanbul sweets

Istanbul sweets

Istanbul sweets

Istanbul sweets

I didn't have any. Sugar's generally not my drug of choice. Some people rave about Turkish delight, a fascination that eludes me, as they taste pretty much like gummy bears to me. But then I rave about Georgia's chicken livers, so I'm not a reliable source of what constitutes good taste for most people.


phil said...

Hey Mzuri, lovely post. Your new home doesn't seem half bad. I spent a week in Istanbul in 2005 and fell in love with many of the things in this post. Turkish breakfast is really hard to beat. After your words, photos and the video, I am longing for Istanbul!

Mzuri said...

Thanks for checking it out! Say, did you take that road trip in the U.S. yet? Or was I imagining that trip? I'll be interested in reading your experiences.