Sunday, 21 May 2017

Sleeping in, Watching Whirling Wonders, and meeting Nilbar on a rainy Istanbul day






9:00

Now that is what the absence of work (actually, I do have to finish a translation today, LOL), inclement weather (it's raining over the Golden Horn), and a comfy bed and duvet (with a view onto a mosque) can accomplish.  
I only get out of bed by 9. 
OK, so the booze store doesn't open until 10 on Sunday ;-)

At 10:00 I do NOT head for the supermarket though (I know when to show some RESTRAINT, LOL). 


 I go back to the Vodafone store to BITCH about my SEmI-Working SIM chip.   Turk Telekom is open.  Vodafone is closed.  Lesson learned!  STAY AWAY from Vodafone. (Did you notice that the alliterations in the first sentence [L-L] was immediately followed by a rhyme [ay-ay]?  And it came naturally. No thinking required.  Am I a poet? LOL.



 It's drizzling and there is a hill involved, so I take the Tu"nel (the second oldest subway in  the world, btw) to the Mevlevi Dance Hall and then walk down to Galata Tower, where Migros is located, my supermarket/booze dispensary. 
Brilliant: This way one doesn't get wet when climbing down the manhole.
Just don't tell the flooded neighbours !

Anyone ever notice that McVittie's Digestive cookies coated in chocolate go REALLY WELL with a glass of dry white wine? Any connoisseurs among the readership? (OK so I've had a few. Of both, lol)

The bed with a terrace with a view
Huuhuuu. I liked that last one.  No wonder all the great writers were always under the influence, LOL.

14:00

WHAT time is it? I ask myself when I wake up. Did all the great writers also snooze the day away or were they more temperate guzzlers than I am?  LOL, Let's hope this is only catch-up sleep.

16:00

AMAZING. 
When the rain stops in Vancouver, it'll be dark and soggy for a while, and then the rain starts again.




I am relieved to see that those smoke trails do NOT originate at the engines



Here in Istanbul, the rain stops rather quickly and five minutes later one is broiling on the balcony. NICE.


16:30

OMG, time flies !  I have to run down to the Metro Station to head up-hill to the Mevlevi Hall for the Sema Ceremony.  
















As soon as the Dervish passes by the black-gown guy, he starts whirling, slowly unfolding his arms as the rotation forces his skirt up.
video
Blogger's video capabilities SUCK (as you can see above), so here is a LINK to YOUTUBE. Make sure you set the resolution to HIGH, otherwise it looks like crap ;-)





18:15

So I walk down the street and a group of 3 young men walks towards me. 
The hottest one (yes, I couldn't help but notice) stops when we're at the same level and speaks to me in Turkish.  DAMNED. I wish I spoke Turkish. He might be inviting me to the local Happy Hour, LOL.  When I say "Sorry I don't speak Turkish" one of the other ones puts his hand on his heart, says "How are you?" in a way that suggests that these are the only 3 English words he knows, and the 3 are on their way again.

Fifty meters further down the same road, the same happens AGAIN. ( ONLY this time the man addressing me in Turkish isn't quite as cute ;-). This time I profess my lack of knowledge of the Turkish language both in English AND in German in the secret hope to figure out WHAT is going on here.


I'm barely back in the hotel, when I get an e-mail.  Seamus being Seamus had informed his friends in Istanbul of my arrival.  And Nilbar happens to be in my approximate neighbourhood right now and she is checking whether I want to meet.  



No time for procrastination !  I'm sitting at the Halic Metro station 15 minutes later, headed to Taksim square.






Sleeping cat with milk tray in the Taksim Metro station !
I'm circling the Ataturk monument on Taksim Square aimlessly (I have NO IDEA what the woman I was talking to actually looks like), when I hear a voice behind me "Hey German!"   I had told her that I'd be 'the one wearing shorts' because I had already noticed that NO-ONE in this city is wearing shorts (Nilbar informs me later that it is just plain WEIRD to do so in this city).

This evening's talk will be intense and interesting, so as is usual in such circumstances, I will completely forget to use my camera.  So I had to grab a picture of Nilbar from the internet (Yes, another person whose picture pops up if you type the name into Google, LOL). 

And I kid you not if I say that she looks even more amazing than in this promo shot.
We walk to the local LGBT quarter.  Now that the rain has stopped, the city's cats are visible again in the streets.  And they will be VERY present in Nilbar's chosen venue, LOL.
At first I'm going to order another glass of white wine, but then I realize how foolish that would be.  I can drink white wine ANYWHERE !  Let's order some Raki.  After asking Nilbar how to prepare the concoction I am ready to have my first sip.


It's an adventure !!! LOL


My first Raki
In the coming few hours i learn a lot about supposedly straight Turkish men, the predominant reason for divorce in Turkey (NO, NOT what you think after that intro, but strangely related), and various aspects of the Art world and places in the world to live and NOT to live (Sorry Vienna).

We leave after 11 pm because the cafe staff has started turning the chairs upside down and putting them on the neighbouring tables.  


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