13 March 2012 23:00 MDT (3/14 7:00 local)
First, thoughts from this morning. The bears needed a receiver and have for the last 92 years, but Brandon Marshall is too unstable for my comfort. I work with people with borderline personality disorder regularly and I couldn't imagine they are great teammates. Maybe the locker room is veteran and can absorb it, but last year we had a drug kingpin on the team and that went unpoliced (until of course it did)- Im still waiting for the other shoe to drop from that. At least he came cheaply. The Jason Campbell signing is brilliant. Go bears!
Now, let's see if I can rewrite what I lost last night:
I woke up early ~4 , but that means I got about twelve hours of sleep and am close enough to local time that I should be set for the rest of the trip. Breakfast was the same as always. I focused more on the bread than usual. They had some that reminded me of panatone, very yummy. After getting washed up I went out to see what I could find and was approached by a bus company. I liked their drop off points and so signed up. The first bus didn't leave for an hour, but the sun started to peak through for the first time since I've been here ( it didn't last) so I took a stroll. I ended up in a tiny store front ( think walk-in closet) where I had my first cay (Turkish tea). It was as I had been told, very hot and very sweet, but what impressed me the most was the cups it is served in. These glass cups with elegant curving form. The fact that the cups are glass makes them very hot which isn't bad if it is cold and blustery (which it was). After cay, I sat in a park until it was time for the bus. I took the bus to Takim square. From here I hoped to walk down the main pedestrianized street in town, but somehow couldn't find it. Instead I walked through a pedestrianized neighborhood, wider rather than long. Eventually, I made my way back to Takim where I got the next bus. Eventually (I ended up waiting for this bus company far longer than I should have) I ended up at eyup. I took the tram up to Pierre Loti ridge. Here the views were very impressive and I took lots of pictures. I had lunch at the top with kofte. Again, I find myself not as impressed with the cuisine as I thought I would be. The dessert though was amazing. it was three gingerbread type cookies that were saturated with honey and or liqueur. It was really hard to place I will try and look it up when I finish? After lunch, I walked down the ridge through the cemetery. The tombs were largely New Orleans style with Arabic inscriptions and decorations. I averaged seeing a cat every twenty seconds or so throughout the cemetery. I really like that for some reason. Once down, I was at the Eyup mosque. This is the burial site of the last of Mohammad's inner circle and the third holiest place in Islam. I entered the courtyard, and washed my hands and face in the fountain, but then balked because, having not yet been in a mosque, I wasn't sure what to do or where to go (this one is not touristy or user friendly-at all) I decided to move off to watch for a bit. When I was seperated from the pack (animal planet style) I was approached twice by women in full body coverings I imagine asking for money. I gave each a lira coin and got out of there. My attidute toward lira coins is evolving. At first they were a hassle -like US dollar coins. Now, I am growing more fond of them. The mosque is next to a little bazaar that I walked through to get back to the bus stop. I just missed the tour bus and after waiting a while for the next one, decided to hop on a dolmas (collectivo) to see what that was like. It was fine, but it left me with no clue where I was or how to get back. Realizing I was stuck, I took a taxi back to the part of town I can walk successfully. I had gone much further than I realized. Once back at the hotel, I talked with Melly and Caterina and then went to dinner. I had my first kabob and hummas. Again, not mind blowing. I do really like the bread you are served at the table. It is like a giant (two feet by one foot) sopapilla. With a little different consistency. At the hotel, I showered and slept. I woke at six. Now, I am going to make a list of things I really want to do before I leave and have breakfast. I miss everyone a lot and will see you soon.
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