Friday, September 7, 2012

Turkish Delight

   It's odd to think this place, that now seems so familiar, was as alien to us as the planet Mars when we first landed a few hours ago.

The Blue Mosque at sunset
   Hours of walking around, talking to merchants and friendly people in the old and lively streets in awe at the sight of hundred year old, gigantic, worn down mosques- crumbling, yet still indescribably magnificent; the way only the eyes of two young travelers on their first trip can be, have all made the place seem much less foreign. I guess getting lost is the only way to really get to know a place.

   The real treat though (no pun intended) was the food.
   If you'd have asked me to impart one all inclusive, most important advice to any would-be traveler it would be this- Try everything.

   In Turkey, I realized there's a lot you can learn about a culture from eating its food. Once you break down that barriar, once you've walked around for hours and got to that little spot on the corner where the guy is barbequing the most delicious meat for $2 and you sit down on a dirty plastic chair with the rest of the locals, that's when you really feel like you're a part of a place, a culture, up close and personal.

   It changes everything- Those weird, squishy wads on a stick suddenly turn into weird squishy wads of deliciousness. That shady guy with the weird looking mustache and the old rusty meat stand turns out to be a master chef (with a weird looking mustache) and an alright guy altogether.
Blending in with the locals.
   Yes, there will be misses, like the roasted cobb of corn that turned out to be some sort of edible form of yellow charcoal, but there will probably be a lot more good than bad.

   There are other stories to tell, like the Iranian mother and daughter telling us about the difficulty of living in crazy Muslim Iran or the cop that was all like "Texas! Yes! Bang bang!!" pointing at his gun, much to his joy in a confusing mix of being super friendly and scaring the shit out of us, but the train is arriving at the airport, and I need to wake Breck up, so perhaps in a different time and place.


^on our playlist- Turkish sadness music (basically people singing while sounding like they're about to cry).
^on our plate- Those squishy wads. Oh, and delicious delicious Lahmajoon.

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