Wifi selling carpets… there is no escape!

October 8th, 2008 § Comments Off on Wifi selling carpets… there is no escape! § permalink

A Brief Snapshot of Istanbul

October 4th, 2008 § 1 comment § permalink

The Blue Mosque at Night
View from the rooftop of the Side Hotel & Pension in Sultanahmet

Süleymaniye Mosque
The second largest mosque in Istanbul

The Blue Mosque

View from inside the Aya Sofya

Looking out to the Black Sea (
Bosphorous ferry trip)
View from the Anadolu Kavağı Kalesi Castle ruins

Old and New

View from Ortaköy, a small neighborhood along the Bosphorous river

One of Turkey’s Bazillion Cats

A cute little beggar at one of Anadolu Kavagi’s many fish restaurants (Bosphorous ferry trip)

Shopping for Scarves at the Grand Bazaar

Turkish Coffee

4 lira in the Grand Bazaar

Drinking Raki in Sultanahmet
(our first night)

Smoking Nargile with the Locals
When in Turkey…

Salad with Beans at the Kofte Shop

Beef Kofte & Lamb Sis Kabab

Breakfast from the Bakery

Humus, stuffed peppers, and salad (not pictured: tomato soup)

Mezes at Boncuk on Nevizade Street
White beans, sutffed mussles, aubergine salad, & anchovies (not pictured: topik)

Carin ‘testing’ Me No Speak Turkey

Blue Voyage ~ the food edition

October 4th, 2008 § 3 comments § permalink

I think I must have gained weight with all the delicious food: olive oil, bread, cheese… (not to mention all the wine; our group drank 40 bottles during the week we were on the boat). The food on the gulet was a-m-a-z-i-n-g. At long last, some photos–just a few of the many delicious dishes I had the pleasure of consuming.


Favorite lunch fare

Favorite dinner fare

Wifi with a mean spirit when feeling lonely

September 28th, 2008 § Comments Off on Wifi with a mean spirit when feeling lonely § permalink

Mystery Meat

September 20th, 2008 § 2 comments § permalink

A strange package of marinated raw meat fell out of my luggage when I unzipped the cover/duffel bag around my backpack. Lucikly, my backpack was locked so the meat was just sitting inside the cover/duffel I use when I check the pack.

I was the only person in the baggage claim area when it happened; I’d returned to the airport to pick up my luggage from lost and found. There weren’t any customs agents around, so the woman who helped me retrieve the bag went looking for one, leaving me alone with my bag. I decided to get a head start by removing the cover so I could wear my pack instead of pushing it in a cart. Fwap! A package slid out onto the floor and thoughts of criminal activity rushed into my head: ‘Oh my god, did someone put drugs in my bag?’

My first thought was of the ‘Ganja Queen’, a women from Australia who is in prison for life in Indonesia for a huge bag of pot found in her boogie board bad when she arrived in Bali. There’s a documentary of her story and it’s very clear the drugs were placed in her luggage some time between checking it in and picking it up.

Thinking of her story when I saw the meat fall out of my bag (and at the time I had no idea what it was), I contemplated kicking it under a table or xray machine so as not to get into any trouble if it were an illicit substance. But then when I saw it appeared to be meat, marinated is some sort of potent-smelling herb (not pot), I waited for the lost and found woman to return with customs to see what would happen.

She returned without a customs inspector, who’d told her by phone to just let me go. Apparently it was not worth his time to come check the luggage of a single person. I showed her the mystery meat and her only response was, “I have never seen meat come out of someone’s bag.” And that was that. She told me she would feed it to a dog that was outside.

I cannot stop wondering who put the meat into my bag and what circumstances led someone to do it. What precipitated the thought, “Quick! Hide the meat!”?