Overland 1972 - Day 31

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March 13th 1972
Published: March 15th 2013
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Day 32 - Monday 13th March.

Up early this morning as I need to report my missing travellers cheques to American Express. It was snowing quite heavily as I headed out at 8.30am and caught the bus to Taksim district - the bus was packed. The Hilton hotel was 5 minutes walk away and opposite the Tourist Information Office. I had to complete a long complicated form and then sign in triplicate. They would check with Head Office and tomorrow afternoon they would let me know whether new cheques would be issued. I walked back to Taksim square and then caught the bus to Sultanhamet and found the Post Restante. The next problem was to overcome the loss of the student cards - so wrote a letter to UK student office in London to ask for replacement cards to be sent to Poste Restante Kabul ! Then I went to the Turkish student union offices and after a long discussion, they eventually but reluctantly agreed to issue Turkish cards so that we could benefit from student discounts on the train journey across Turkey (it was interesting to note that the international student office had been closed by the government in the previous year but I could not find out why).

With these duties complete, I headed for the main bazaar which was a bustling environment full of shops selling suede, afghan and leather coats + carpets, ornaments, fancy shoes and jewellery. I talked with a few owners but was not planning to buy anything at this stage of the journey. The leather coats were especially appealing but it would be difficult to keep the coat in good condition in a rucksack (and my new concern - protect it from theft). It was an interesting place but sadly the constant hassle from salesmen was very wearing. It was another cold day and so I headed back to the YMCA. One of my new dormitory mates was an Indian who was studying the relations between the Ottoman empire and India. He suggested a money making scheme - taking olive oil to India as it was much more expensive there !

My mail from home included a copy of the Bournemouth football echo and so at last I could catch up with the results - well a week old anyway (slipping down the table) - so much easier nowadays just to log into the internet and be immediately updated.


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