CATS WERE EVERYWHERE!
Turkey was the city of cats. Everywhere I was, MEOW! MEEEEEOW! Meow. They are everywhere. Cute little creatures from the top to the bottom of the country. Yes I had to pet everyone of them. No I didn't come back with ringworm LOL. Some of the Aussie ladies freaked out with me, and were sure I'd catch something. I AM GATUVELA. I already caught "CAT SCRATCH FEVER"
I was followed by a kitten in the ancient city of Ephesus (Efes) from the beginning to the end and I was afraid it was going to climb into the motor coach with me, but there was a giant camel sitting out there by the buses and I think kitty freaked out when kitty came face to face with it.
First of all my initial arrival was WOW! The rest just awed me. The sights and sounds the cacophony of different accents in the air. The great smells of great breads and kabobs made my mouth water. I WANTED TO EAT. NOW!
I walked around the perimeter of my hotel and right there was the Topkapi Palace. A couple minutes walk. A few more minutes the Blue Mosque then St Sophia. I stayed in the old town called Sultanahamet. This is where one must stay if only for three days then you can go over to the Asian side across the Bosphorous and stay or far east or far west on the Euro side. Where ever it may be, I still recommend the old town for a bit.
I loved it and I want to go back, but when and if I do, I'll have to get a T-shirt made "NO I'M NOT FROM IRAN". I kept getting asked if I was from Iran by every other sales person outside his shop. How could I be from Iran if I'm not wearing (as Phanja would say) the ninja outfit? I was in tank top and shorts. Hello, is Billabong and Hilfiger Iran wear?! These hawkers were way too friendly for me. Being from Chicago and not having to chat with anyone, it's a bit odd being asked by absolutely everyone on the street, "where are you from?" "what's your name?" Yes, the ugly American had to ignore and play the mute. If I didn't, I'd not have accomplished anything. Like power shopping for one. Oh the stalls and shops on top of stalls and shops! The Grand Bazaar was the shiznit! I bought some jewelry at wickedly low prices but that was it. I couldn't find another bargain for the life of me. What I found really cheap, I couldn't find again for anything. I would have liked to bring back similar to give as gifts but couldn't find the same prices anywhere. My hotel had a cool terrace. The view atop was spectacular. My observations from this point on is just some crazy shit I find worth noting. Don't read if you're easily offended.
ISTANBUL HAS GOT NO SOUL FOOD
I didn't see black folk in Turkey. I saw one resident and the other 7 were tourists. When I got home, it was good to see my peeps again. In Istanbul, I saw Italian food, Mexican food and Chinese food, but no soul food aquí.
SHOPPING FOR A HOOKAH AND 72 VIRGINS!!!
I finally stop somewhere in an obscure area of town and find a solid copper hookah that just looks cool as hell. I chose this cause if I got a glass one, it would have broken in thousands of pieces by the time I got back. Plus copper is cheap as chips out there. It runs like water. I could get a glass one in Chicago anytime I like for that matter, they're in demand these days. There are 3 men in this shop. The youngest innocent took care of me, speaking great English. "I pack this perfect for you in bubble wrap. It wont break and you can carry it with you in your carry on bag".
Me, "I can't carry this with me on a plane." You see when you unscrew a hookah, especially a brass one, there is a long screw which could be used as a weapon of death. I continued, "they'll think I'm a terrorist, trying to kill the pilot with this thing".
The innocent said, "Lady, why would they think you're a terrorist?
You're on the plane yourself?" Me, "because if I kill the pilot and myself, I get 72 virgins!" Dead silence. 3 seconds, 6 seconds, 8 seconds. Finally I see smirks on their faces. They got it. This older man in his 50's walked over and looked at me and just said, "I don't think so". I said, "WHY NOT? Just because I'm a woman, I can't have virgins? That's not fair! Damned it I want my virgins! Fair is fair!" Suddenly the roaring of laughter starts. Then I start to laugh too. They were the best. I have my hookah, an extra free charcoal, 6 extra hookah tips, and an extra box of tobacco for being such a funny bunny. LOL
SMOKING THE HOOKAH IN THE RESTAURANT
I go into a nice restaurant for a change, put on the nicer threads and dine. I order some awesome dolma among some other great treats finish and decide to take my Efes beer to the back for a nice smoke. I flag the waiter and ask, "I'd like to finish my beer in the back and have a smoke." Waiter looking at me with narrowed eyes, like I'm asking him if I could swim naked in the hotel pool says, "it's apple tobacco??" Me, "well, I wasn't expecting crack." I got a half a smile for that one. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.
EVERYBODY WANTS TO SHAG ME
Il est honteux! but I was followed, groped and wooed by many a Turkish man. Age was of no importance to the 20 year old waiter insisting on walking me to my hotel cause he insisted that we were in a bad neighbourhood. Me, "bad neighbourhood! Son, you don't know the meaning of the word bad neighbourhood! Hell, my town invented them. I've got my protection." (Tear gas ring and a mo-fo personal alarm) He wouldn't take no for an answer. He put his arm around me and walked me to the tram station. It was 90° F (33° C) in the shade, arms around me in that, just ain't right, but it was only a 1 minute walk to the station. He got on the train then. I'm freaking out. I don't want to cause a scene by macing him but enough was enough. I said, " STOP FOLLOWING ME! YOU ARE NOT COMING BACK TO MY HOTEL WITH ME. IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, CAPITO?" I get off the tram and walk towards my hotel, and the friggin' carpet sellers are following me down the tram line. OK time to go to the Internet café and catch up on my email. I lost them. This will have happened at least 3 dozen times before I leave. "I come to your hotel, you go in, I follow you later".
Double you tee ef?????????????????????????????????????????
TOO TOUCHY FEELY
I want my harem girl outfit. I see a cool harem girl outfit in a shop window and methinks, hmmmmm good costume for Halloween time. I'm invited to a Halloween birthday party next month. So I go in. I ask the guy for a larger size and he decides to come in to the curtained area to help me try it on. RIGHT. So, he's helping me tie it in the back, what the hell, and he sees my tattoo, "oh nice tattoo. I like your tattoo" as he's outlining it with his finger.
Oy gevalt mir! I leave with just half of it. The halter and the waste scarf thingy. As I'm paying and fixing to leave, he tells me he "wants me". And that he had to be honest and forthright and tell me. Gee thanks for your honesty. No thanks. He didn't even invite me to dinner first. LOL
I'm going to a place where there're women.
I didn't find any place where there are women selling harem stuff. Where are all the women sales ladies in Istanbul? Are they the ones running the country. Hmmm nice thought.
NOW I'M AFRAID OF GOING TO THE TURKISH FESTIVAL IN THE DAILY PLAZA NEXT WEEKEND!
SHOPPING AT THE GROCERY STORE FOR THE HELLUVIT
I didn't buy anything, but I just like to go to the grocery store in a foreign country for the helluvit. Good way to learn food names etc. On my way out, I see a dude buying 3 cans of beer. Just 3 cans like the soda pop size can ones. Never in America will you see this. LOL Never in a million gazillion years. I think it's non existent actually. CUZ WE'RE ALKIES!
GOING SOUTH DOWN THE AEGEAN COAST
AW MAN! No guys who looked like Pitt, Bana or Orlando Bloom in this town. RIP OFF!
I wasted my money here. It was cool to see an ancient gladiator amphitheater but it was mostly ruins and hardly anything left. No cool vomitoriums around either. Oh well. You can't have it all.
Was with all Aussies and Kiwis. They are too funny together. They are like Canadians and Americans, or New Yorkers and Chicagoans, pock shooting remarks and retorts back and forth. It amuses the hell out of me. I had no idea.
God what a sad sad place. Seeing the headstones of young lads all around 18. Some were 15 & 16. All for nothing. It was mostly the reading of the headstones that was the saddest. "He was the best of lads" etc.
After the ferry trip to mainland, we stop for a beer. I have an Efes (Turkish beer) and squeeze lemon and salt in it. The Aussies, look at me like WTF? I just shrug, it's a Mexican thing. We all do it to our Coronas in the states. They hadn't ever seen this and were amazed. They're cool cats though. Pete didn't think I was weird.
In the evening, after the tour was like a scene out of Under the Tuscan Sun. I snag an Aussie hunk to hang with (yeah you Peter) for protection from ("the stalkers") and one still had the balls to follow us around. He was real weird. He bums a cigarette and off he goes. But he's sitting there looking at us. Strange old men even, pull up chairs to stare at us. We're just having drinks by the pier and it's a fucking floor show! He comes back later and I don't remember what the hell I said, but it may have been, "T'es fou!" or something of the likes (you're crazy) in French. He sits next to me and asks for another cigarette. We both yell nooooooo! He pats me on my left thigh and says, "Je taime". We leave and relocate.
JONESING FOR A CORONA
Whilst walking down the pier looking for food, we spy a hoarding with a Corona ad! Our 4 eyeballs pop out of our heads. Peter, knew and loves Corona. Who'd've thunk it? That's the plan after dinner! We had Corona's with lime! Woo hoo! It's always better on holiday! It'salways better on holiday!
I'm going for a record. I've now had Corona's in 9 countries (and none being Mexico). LOL
I also must mention that I got strange looks when adding lime to my Corona bottle. Some heads did turn........again........ IT'S A MEXICAN THING.
There are kofte kabobs at Mickey Dees!!!
I think there was three in all of Istanbul. Hmmmmm, you think they're trying to tell us something? Guess they don't think much of our brown water.