Friday, June 7, 2013

Cultural Insensitivity

Yesterday we started off at an art gallery, the Pera Museum. A short walk from where we're staying it's five floors, but quite small. The top two floors featured a Spanish artist Manolo Valdes. 

I wasn't terribly interested in his work but he had some prints that were nice to look at and this wonky bookshelf that I forced Brock to stand infront of for a photo op.

The lower floors were dedicated to 17th - 19th century Turkish artists and were beautiful. But more than anything, I enjoyed the lay out of the building, the rich colours in the works and displays and the winding stair case down. And that it was small. Seriously, art galleries can draaaaaaaaggggg.

We followed that with a stop at a cheese store, a quick lunch and then headed over to the Faith district of Istanbul. Because Brock and I are nothing if not full of faith. Or tourists. Check out the Blue Mosque again!

We hit up the Hagia Sofia as our unbelievably kind host had dropped off tickets for us so we could skip the line. I know it's supposed to be an architectural marvel, but holy hell, BORING. 

The church converted to mosque converted to museum (it's a stretch to call it that) was covered in scaffolding inside. So perhaps it's seen better days... and to be fair, from the entrance, if you only looked up, it was quite beautiful. But we came for a museum! And all we got were wiki-pages blown up and printed on cardboard that people were standing in front of taking photos of. I could have stayed inside, saved the $30 for us to get in and taken our picture on photo booth. If you're planning a trip to Istanbul, save yourself the trip.

Oh well. We made up for lost time by stopping in a rug shop. Remember when I said Brock couldn't bargain? He redeemed himself. I won't tell you the name that he was called by the salesmen but I'll just say that it was culturally insensitive.

Next time you're by our place, look down. Then at the couch. We have some fun new additions.

Then we smoked a hookah pipe.
I don't know if you know this... but there is tabacco in those things!
I had tried one years ago in Germany and was told it was apple flavoured. I must have Bill Clinton'd it and not inhaled because I never knew there was actual tabacco in them. Just thought it was like smoking candy. Yeah... it's apple flavoured tabacco. I got a headache.

I was not really keen on trying on in the first place because of all that Rihanna-herpes controversy but they give you these cool disposable nibs so you don't have to share mouth germs with strangers. Woot woot! Sanitary!

PS. Apple tea is the shit.

So after all that excitement we worked up a mega appetite and found the best vegetarian option in the city. Klemuri is close to where we're staying, offering local food and a contemporary take on traditional Turkish dishes. 

I don't even think I looked up once the food arrived. I literally inhaled it. There haven't been this many veggies in my diet since I arrived and I was so happy to know that I could eat all of it without wondering if there was secret meat in it!

But don't ask me to tell you what it was. The above dish on the left was fried cheese with some green stuff. To the right is hummus, olives and some other stuff.

And above this is potatoes, chard, some other stuff, topped with yogurt.

We finished the evening with a Turkish coffee. This is the remnants of the black sludge left over. Hopefully Brock learnt his lesson about ending the day with the world's strongest coffee.

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