'Round the World with David and Ron
The Boys are Abroad!
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12/23/07
Turkey
Filed under: Turkey
Posted by: @ 7:15 pm

Dear Turkey,

I hate to tell you this but you smoke too much. Now I have been known to enjoy a fag now and then myself, but this is crazy. You smoke everywhere and it’s not just cigarettes. There are those venders roasting chestnuts and corn on the cob on the street corners… I have to tell you that I decided to see what corn roasted over an open flame tasted like and I think it is a mean thing to do to a piece of corn. It tasted something like leather mixed with those old maids at the bottom of a bowl of popcorn. I think you could just let that bit of cuisine go… there I have helped already, but back to the tobacco products. Do you really need to smoke in the grocery stores? I know that I come from a whiney neck of the woods with a government that is always trying to save us from ourselves. Yes, we go too far sometimes but you smoke in Starbucks! I’m just saying that you might consider creating a few safe zones for those who don’t wish to be part of the smoke-in. The smokers grumble in other parts of the world that have adopted no-smoke-zones but it seems like we get used to it and then come here and can’t believe that we used to smoke in peoples homes who did not smoke themselves. With all that America has to be embarrassed about right now, perhaps I should hold my tongue but Turkey you stink…

Istanbul has been an interesting place, very old and located on a lovely piece of water-riddled real estate.

I have had work to do here so I taught a class and gave a lecture and now that is done and I am glad. We did have a few opportunities to see some of the major sites and there are some worth looking at.


(Spice Market-better of the two large markets)


(Blue Mosque as seen from Hagia Sofia.)

Istanbul is an ancient city that has had a tumultuous history that it seems to be somewhat indifferent towards. I love to see the history of a place and try to imagine how it was when old was new. I want to look at the old but my impression is that current Istanbul is more interested in showing the new. There are a lot of old pieces of this place that are in need of a good fix up and some neighborhoods that have great potential and a high quaint quotient but I guess no one really likes to be quaint, so much of what I was interested in is about to fall over. It seems like this place has not yet reached consensus as to what it wants to be but it has enormous potential and I hope to keep an eye on it.

David

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