Saturday, 20 May 2017

The Translator in Transit (or Playing with my Istanbulkart)

Is it hunger or anticipation that wakes me up after barely 5 hours of sleep? 
The fact that the first thing I do is to rip open the blinds to check the progress of the sunrise or the weather might be a good indicator.

I've JUST come back from my 5 minute walk down to Metro Bridge (navigating the spiral staircase back up to my perch on the 5th floor took half that time ;-) with a bag of 5 warm croissant-like Turkish breakfast buns.  No, I didn't go to a small store with a lease in the ground floor of a brand-new Condo high-rise, but I found the Bun-Man with his cart again.

The vending grounds of the Bun Man at the bottom of the bridge
Another sign of our CRAZY times.   Justin Trudeau is going to ask the POPE for an apology for the Canadian Residential School system, which brought much harm and injustice to Canadian First Nations people.  But Hang ON!  The Pope wasn't running those schools !  It was CANADIANs with sanction of the CANADIAN government.   Justin?   If you had HALF your father's balls, you might make a half-decent premier. Unfortunately Pierre Elliot had so much balls, there weren't any left for his son.

The king leaves his castle (NOT my idea; Actually the B&B owner coined me King (without knowing what my German last name translates into) because, as he put it: You need nothing. You are truly happy. You are the king.) All just because I refused to be catered to, unlike most hotel guests.

The drawbridge
I'm back from walking the early morning streets, filled with Turkish men exclusively dressed in dark-coloured LONG PANTS (I stick out like a sore thumb!) drinking tea and talking to each other and to the stray cats, to the local Migros supermarket.  
Why YES, we DO sell LADDERS !

A Metro station right in the middle of a bridge. WHO would think of such an ingenious solution

SishaneMetro exit (the wrong one)

Beyoglu: The Nicest Tourist district I have ever seen
The booty includes a bottle of yummy Turkish white wine (the same one the gorgeous steward recommended on yesterday's flight), bread, Turkish Salami, instant coffee, and Turkish Sour Cherry juice ;-)

Tanya Lucente would like this

OMG what happened.  I passed out for 3 hours


There is a knock on the door !   I know who that is.  And he's wearing his dressed-to-kill clothes.  Me being me,  I of course assume that this is just a figment of my imagination,until he says that on Monday he will bring me a VERY special bottle of wine.     LOL! Can't wait ;-)


Stress time again (LOL!). There is an agenda and it has to be followed.  I have to go and buy some tickets for some dancing-men performance 


The internet in this place is driving me MAD. 
I might have to go east myself FAT in a restaurant just so that I have internet !

But let's look at the bright side: I walked to down to Halic Metro Station, topped-up my IstanbulKart (Think Compass, Orca, or Octopus Card), took the Metro up the hill one stop and visited the local Galata Mevlevi Dervish Hall. 

There is a little Museum (entry TL 10, i.e. US$ 2.50) and it has a glorious marble Whirling Venue.  AND (excitement in my fingers ;-), I managed to score a ticket for tomorrow evening's ceremony.  In contrast to all the other Whirling Dervish events in the city, you can NOT buy these tickets online, you have to go to the actual venue.  We'll see tomorrow whether that changes the nature of the audience ;-)

My mood takes a tumble (think semi-depression at the state of the world) when I see this message at   I can't book a room in Turkey from Turkey???   WHAT could be going on????


It's sunny. It will be raining tomorrow, so I can't just have a nap !
Let's do a triple-whammy-transit ride !
Horse Heads with Cock

A shoe store.  How could I resist? 
With the atrocious (varying over time thoug) Wifi still in my mind, I stop in a Vodafone store in the underground pedestrian passage.   TRY 130 gets me a SIM chip with 5GB of Data, 1000 included text messages, and 1 hour of international calls.   Grandma should be happy !

Ferybot to Asia and back, LOL

How about this for a SKYLINE?  


I'm cranky and weak and tired. What should I do?  I remember that this unsatisfied and undecided state often is caused by a lack of food.  So I bite the bullet and start marching to the restaurant under Galata Bridge that I last visited 2 months ago.

The head-waiter sees me entering the premises, grins, and tentatively extends his hand.  Of course I remember him too.  He surprises me by saying "A glass of white wine?" though, LOL.  It gets even WEIRDER:  He remember TWO of the THREE dishes I ate here 60 days ago.  Unfortunately, I want the other one, Lamb chops.

Even a cute waiter whom I don't even recognize (WHAT is WRONG with me, LOL?) says "I remember you" when he brings the buns (Hmm. That sounds wrong ;-)

As soon as a bite of the AMAZING olive mush in olive oil on bread enters my mouth, I am in Heaven. My mood has improved significantly.

The lamb arrives.

The restaurant switched on the mood lighting, LOL
Due to the food, I can think again and check
AHA !  THIS is the Poodle's Core (It's a line in Faust by Goethe  LOL, but it can't really be translated ) would allow me to book rooms in Istanbul while I'm in Istanbul.  NOT so with  HOWEVER, is a DUTCH company.  Remember that Rotterdam unilaterally cancelled its city-partnership with Istanbul and that the Turks retalliated by sending Dutch cows home?   WHAT BULLSHIT.  How DARE Rotterdam Do that?  City-Partnerships were created after the first or second World War to prevent a third from happening.  They were meant to make people learn about people in other countries.  And now Rotterdam is using it as a WHIP?  SHAME on you Rotterdam; I thought you were more grown up !   (And guess in which city I'm spending my tourist $s, LOL and which Dutch company isn't getting them, LOL).

So a court in Istanbul continued the little game and decided that needs a license to sell hotel rooms in Turkey. Turkey blocked !   Not afraid to cut their own flesh, I must say ;-)

As if he heard me, the cute waiter proves me right when he delivers two pieces of FRESH Baclava with the words "this is my offer for you". 

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