Sept.30.2010, Istanbul

Lindsay’s birthday dinner

0800 cloudy, overcast at breakfast.  Happy 22nd birthday Lindsay!

I was awake at 0400 again, dozed until 0530 Imam wake up call from the Blue Mosque, then dozed until 0730.  Debbie says it rained again last night – hope it stays away today like yesterday.

I survived the grilled corn experiment without contracting the Sultan’s Revenge!  What’s that?  I bought a grilled corn from a street vendor outside Topkapi yesterday and after eating it, realized that it had probably been sitting in water of unknown sanitary origin for most of the day before grilling.  So, what are the chances of stray intestinal bacteria? No negative effects – that’s a relief with 4 of us now sharing a bathroom.

At breakfast, after we sang happy birthday to Lindsay, hotel owner’s daughter Elpha gave each of the girls incl. Debbie a shawl/headscarf.  Very nice, very much appreciated.

1130 to Blue Mosque.  Thought of staying for the ceremony/prayers but they chased us out.  Then back to the Turkoman Hotel to recharge Chrystal’s camera battery.  Out and walked around backside of Blue Mosque to the local bazaar but missed finding the ceramic tile museum.  Through the bazaar and out near Sultanahmet tram station.  Picked up some more money from an ATM then took the tram down to Eminonu station near Galata Bridge.  Went into the Spice (Egyptian) Bazaar and then back again to the market in the tunnel below Eminonu tram station.  Finally walked back up towards Sultanahmet.  Along the way the girls picked up some wine in a grocery market.

Sunny, occasional clouds, occasional cool, 21 C.  Debbie got stopped by a rug vendor.  I broke it up when he trapped her by offering her a free rug and placing a rug in her hands to hold for him.  It was his way to trap her, she couldn’t get away as long as she was holding on to the rug and as Canadians are so polite, she would never have dropped it on the ground to leave.  I was accused (again) of being rude.  I just have to stop intervening.  D. and the girls seemed upset that I broke it up.

1600  Returned to the Turkoman Hotel.  Upstairs for internet and tea and talk about touts and vendors.

1800  Left hotel for supper.  Walked through neighbourhood east of Aya Sophia near Empress Zoea Hotel although we didn’t find it.  Then to the restaurant with the whirling dervish and traditional Turkish music.  Supper was lentil soup, 2 types of mezes – rice with some ground beef in a green pepper wrap.  Debbie and I shared a mixed kebab plate.  Then baclava, rice pudding and pistachio flavoured ice cream for desert.

Returned to hotel at 2100.  Chrystal’s stomach is upset this evening – the girls have not arrived at upstairs patio by 2200 as I write this.

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