Friday, September 26, 2008


So we only had one night of internet-well, ok so it seems to be on again off again. Definitely not cool, an evil trick, my mouth is still watering from the little taste of it that I was able to indulge in. Also, that video is not going to happen. I’ve tried several times and it’s always a no-go. It has dawned on me that I might just know why: Youtube is banned in Turkey, so I think putting any form of video online is just not cool with the Turkish government. I’ll keep trying, but in the mean time, I’ll take some photos and post them…one day…

So the very first night I got teased with the internet was also the day I ventured off into the Haghia Sophia (Aya Sofya). Despite the inside center of it being currently under construction, it was breathtaking. Though I’m still not sure if I feel ripped off or not for the 20ytl they charged me to get into a house of God. So I made sure I got my money’s worth and stayed there for a few hours! I’m really glad I did though, because there is sooo much detail everywhere, that you really don’t see it until you just sit and stare. Plus it was a cloudy day, and since I stayed there longer, at one point the sun came out and lit up the church. It was gorgeous! Oh and I stuck my finger in the healing hole, it didn’t come out moist. But then we all already know I have no ailment that needs healing, right!? Plus, another little bonus, there was some photo shoot going on and it happened towards the end of my visit! It was just one model. The dress however, oy vay! It was this sequenced gold mess and they even stuck red tights on her! But she was beautiful, hence the modeling career I sa-pose!

On my way back home from the Aya Sofya, I even got my own little photo shoot! Hahah! Or so we have yet to see! I got off the ferry and saw this long line of people that ended at this trailer, which appeared to be handing out a styrofoam pack of food asking for no money in exchange. Do I need to say more?! I mean I know free when I see it and I jumped right in line without a moment’s hesitation! Haha! While standing in line, I looked at the trailer to try to figure it out. I saw this giant Turkish word written on it that looks very similar to the French word for beef. So I immediately assumed some fast food place is opening up so they were doing some great marketing by handing out food, etc. Sweet, I’m getting free beef, right?! Well this one newspaper reporter eyed me and came right on over. Unfortunately, she knew English. She didn’t ask me really anything that I think would give a good story –just what I’m doing here, how long I’ve been here and how long I’ll stay. Then, and a little more importantly I must point out, she asked me if I knew what was going on. Haha! I told her I saw free food being handed out and got myself into the free line. She then told me it was for Ramazaan. She has very poor English, so I thought she was just telling me that they had been waiting to hand out the food for iftar (the time that allows you to break the day’s fast during Ramazan). But it wasn’t until my treck home that I realized that they were handing out free food for all of the people that were fasting! Haha! Woops! They took tons of pictures of me too and made sure they had good ones of me getting handed the food from the truck! Lol! Jeez! All of these people actually fasting, and little ol’ me comes barging in to snag some more food even though I can eat at whatever time pleases me! Unfortunately I don’t think I made it in though. It’s been over a week now and I have given up checking the paper (she honestly doesn’t have a story on me)!

So I was planning on risking my life to the Black Sea of Kilyos this past Thursday. This beach is supposedly dangerous to swim in, but then again the Turkish are really picky about where they swim…but Wednesday night blew in a wonderful thunderstorm (truly, wonderful –it was huge and I love it!) and left Thursday morning drousy, so the big group of us (apparently my last adventure to the beach sounded really enticing and a bunch of people were up for a round) decided to ditch the beach. After a morning nap (we woke up at 6:30am only to fall back asleep again), Michael and I decided to explore. We found out that the Istanbul Modern Art Museum is free on Thursdays and were planning to get in on the free the following week. Now that we had an open Thursday, it was off to take advantage of the free (what I’m so good at) and do a ridiculous walking tour my Istanbul guidebook has. Well we didn’t make it through the whole museum, we got too hungry and left. We were so comatosed (I think from those fluorescent lights) that we decided that we shouldn’t go back in to finish it off, even though it’s the temp part of the museum and the most interesting. So we decided to do my walking tour. We had to do it backwards though, as we were at the ending point of the tour. Oh dear God that tour they got going on! Haha! We’re still cracking jokes about it! We got a lot of check marks off atleast! The tour just offered things to look at for a few minutes and then you keep trecking, only most of the things in it were missing. Like 2 fountains at separate locations, which are typically quite big and hard to miss, were instead, nonexistent. Even more peculiar is that these fountains “have been” there for a few hundred years! We were definitely on the correct route, otherwise we would have never found our way to Taksim, and there were a few existent things that we were able to see. The best part is in the “hall of mirrors” (another grandiose error, well almost completely), is that there are a ton of shops in this hall and lots of ones with antique pictures, advertisements, and postcards. You best bet there were ones of Ataturk, one of the coolest ones yet, and Michael purchased it and added to the collection that is called home! We then went to a bar to enjoy non-Efes beers (this is a rarity here). Oh but back to the trip to the Black Sea- who knows if that could even happen until next Spring! Ever since Wednesday night it has been raining and cold. No there was no gradual shift of seasons, it was like someone flushing the toilet during your steamy hot shower! Bam! Ice cold never sounded so wrong; only it never went back from the slapping cold! So it’s a little hard to be optimistic at this point.

Because I have seemed to be a wanderer this whole week, the next day, I found myself back in Taksim. I happened to wander by a bar that has 3 lyra beers! My second gold mine find! I found “Heaven” (it’s our local watering-hole here that I found right by work about a month ago while I was wandering around Kadikoy. This place has 3 lyra 70cl beers –which is about half the price around here! It’s so cheap I started calling it Heaven and it has stuck with everyone ever since! A group of us often find ourselves there after our night classes. As soon as the waiter sees us walk in he immediately turns around to go fetch our giant beers!….I suppose I really didn’t need to give an explanation of why this place has been renamed. Oh, and I’m pretty sure he often undercharges us!). So now that I found this other place, but over in Taksim, we are all itching to go test it out! It’s on the other side, so it makes it a bit of a hike. But because it’s on the other side, this is even more of a mind boggler. The other side is much more expensive, so to find such a price just doesn’t sound right. So I’m excited to actually venture over there in search of truth! Actually, speaking of venturing and beer, Oktoberfest is just around the riverbend!! Holla! I’m stoked!

This week has even more wandering, some hardcore wandering too. Plus I even got to enjoy an Indian dinner at Natalie’s. It was sooo delicious! She invited me and a group of friends over to feast on delicousness! She is an amazing cook! On the weekend, a group of us went to another Fenerbahce game. We had some pretty good seats too! Plus not as many people go to these games, or so it keeps turning out that way, so there wasn't half as much groping going on! Another day, I went with Grant, Mike and Jeff to this museum in Istanbul, but it takes over an hour to get to (yup this city is giganto) to go check out the Dali exhibit. I pretty much left as soon as I got there though cuz I was so sick with hangover! Haha! The museum just seemed to intensify the pain. Plus I had to be back for my night class and I was worried about how bad traffic was going to get and being late an all. I found out later that night that Grant saw me resting up against this wall holding my face and he thought I was having a moment! That Dali man, he just makes you weep! Haha! Jk! I made myself go through the first floor (which is that big) since I had to pay to get in and all the time it took to get there, but the longer I stayed the more I had to force myself to stay. So I just gave up! But no worries, I was much better after a Simit and loads of fresh air from the ferry back! Haha! I don’t normally get hungover, boy that one was a doozy and out of no where too! I did some other wanderings too, but those were the highlights!

Welp! That’s it for me! The next blog will be all about Oktoberfest and it’s glory!

Yup, your eyes do not decieve you. 27 bucks for some jif! Sad part, that's the norm if you are able to find the wonderful spread. Wahn wahn!


MissJessie said...

That is crazy to spend 27 dollars on Jif when the Turk PB is 3 lyra lol!!! Speaking of American, I have something I'd like to send you and I wanted to know if you needed anything from here...a care package offer is on the table, do you care to jump in line for the free items? lol!

Big Hugs,

rachel iufer said...

i can't wait to hear about oktoberfest!!! :)
miss you