Friday, December 19, 2008

The End of Istanbul, by Christopher

Our last day in Istanbul was a week ago yesterday. I have let this post slip too far away from me and now I have to struggle to remember what happened. Hard to admit, but the events of a week ago quickly become hazy, mythical creatures to me.

Here's a quick synopsis: Sarah and I began the day by going our separate ways. Sarah was interested in visiting a palace, and I was interested in visiting the museum of archeology.

And we were getting on each other's nerves.

I went to the park and wandered around for about an hour trying to find the museum. Every time I asked someone for directions, they pointed in the opposite direction I was walking. I was getting frustrated, and right then a really funny thing appeared.

I managed to locate the museum. It was a really incredible place and I showed up right on time.

If you're from America, you probably acquired a certain common understanding about acceptable conduct in a museum, as I did. This museum defied several of my basic expectations.

Once I realized the unrestricted access I had, I took advantage of it over the next three hours by photographing everything.

For those of you who don't have time at the moment for a load of pics, here are some highlights:

This is a pebble mosaic of Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke, circa 750 B.C.

Here's a bust of a guardian lion, lit dramatically and hung on a wall. It's placard said it was from 700 B.C., which means that it will soon be 2,709 years old.

And here is a scale model of the original Trojan horse, as "extrapolated from historical records." Which means to me that some Turkish dudes built a horse over a long holiday.

Sarah joined me about halfway through and we went to eat lunch. Afterward, we filled time by doing things I don't recall. Mythical beasts, lost in the mist of my mind.

I do remember taking a taxi to a boat to the train station around 9pm. We skyped with our parents in the train station and then we climbed back on my new favorite method of transport and drifted off to sleep.

I feel lucky to have made it to Istanbul in my lifetime. The third most populated city in the world is a fantastic, vibrant destination.

But I probably won't be heading back too soon. As with all big cities I have visited, the sheer number of people and the constant barrage of salesman and street hawkers definitely annoyed me and wore me down after five days.

And the shops reminded me a great deal of Mexico, where every shop has basically the same junk and everything is marked up 50% or more. So there were downsides I wouldn't be too excited about visiting soon.

But then again, you're reading a post written by someone who gets annoyed and worn out in New York City as soon as I step out of LaGuardia. Big, rude crowds and subways that perpetually smell of farts are not my idea of a good time.

We've also been falling off the posting wagon a bit lately. I promise we'll continue to deliver new content every day until our hands fall off. We're just a bit too close to coming home for the holidays, and being so close to this happy event has made us less interested in communicating by blog.

All we're dreaming about is getting you folks right up in our grill in only four short days. Then we can explain to you older people what "grill" means.

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