Monday, July 9, 2012

Taking Advantage of Quantum Mechanics

You and I are going to take advantage of the lovely Quantum Time Machine. Don't worry, this won't hurt a bit and the chances of you running into yourself are slim because we are going to move through both time and space to lovely Turkey in late April. 

I, on the other hand, will be going undercover as Sasha in case I run into Michel, Monique or myself.  That way, they won't recognize me and we won't have to worry about distorting the time/space continuum.

I will set the scene for you.  We are going to exotic Istanbul. The year is 2012 and it is spring.  Three crazy youngsters (ok, I know that is pushing it) have had a night of touristic debauchery with some locals and we catch up with them the day after much touristing (new word for Websters) and drinking.

April 30
Well, you would think with being a little hung over and sleeping in late would mean that the intrepd trio had a quiet day but nnnnnoooooooooo!

Spidey had no sympathy for our pain and
laughed at us!

After a little extra sleep, we headed back to the Sultanamet to go to the Spice Bazaar and to walk the streets.  The Bazaar was lots of fun and it turned out that there was a movie being filmed around the outside of it.  It was the new Bond film (or so we were told) but Daniel Craig was not sighted.

After wandering around the Bazaar looking for spice mills for Monique, we headed down some side streets and just let our senses lead us.  Tons of people and many turns later, we were lost but having a great time just taking in the atmosphere.

The streets were a little packed!
We ended up at the Denzili House hotel as we had to make a booking for the following night.  The great apartment had only been booked to May 1 and alternative accommodation was needed.

After dinner on a rooftop, it was home for an early night to catch up on our beauty sleep.

Monique made friends with the spice
merchants! Actually, this guy had pics  of  himself
with a whole bunch of female clients - strange!

I hope everyone is glad that this is not
what I brought back as gifts.
Spices everywhere!

Just to give you an idea of what some of
those burka wearing women wear when they are
not around men!

May 1
We moved in the morning and Veve settled in as his stomach was not playing nice.  Monique and I went for a walk along the boardwalk that borders the Bosphorus and it was a welcome reprieve from the overstimulation of the rest of the city.  We just walked and talked and enjoyed the view.


Then it was off to the Sifa Hammam for Monique and I.  It was my second and Monique's first.  However, this one was not like the first one I went to.  At this one, you got naked and wrapped a towel around yourself. Then you are led to the lovely room below (Monique's picture) where we laid on the marble bed which was heated by a fire below it.  We were the only two and so we assumed it was a time that was "women only" as this is common in hammams.

Main room of Sifa Hammam
It smells of wood smoke - very relaxing.

The attendant came to get me and she was in a towel too.  Off we went to a private room where I laid on a different marble slab and she dropped her towel and in nothing but her gitch, bathed me like I was a little kid.  Well.....almost.  You don't scrub little kids that hard!  She even washed my hair and face.  I have never felt so clean and exfoliated!

When I went back to the main room, Monique had just finished rinsing herself with some cool water and had lost her towel - why not, it's women only!

Off she went to get her bath and I laid back down on the marble slab.  Not 5 minutes later, in walks a man in a towel!!!!  He seemed as surprised as I was and all I could think was "Thank God he didn't come 7 minutes earlier or we might have had an international incident on our hands!"  He also seemed uncomfortable (as did I) because when he laid down on the slab, I think he was hanging off the other side so as to put as much space as possible between us.

You should have seen Monique's face when she came back in!  (Giggle)

After we were done, we checked on Veve (stomach still revolting but no uprising yet! - tee hee tee hee) and were off to the Spice Market again to pick up something Monique had seen the day before and some sunglasses (more on this later).  She bartered with a merchant in Turkish (she was our translator) and because she tried so hard, he gave us some
Turkish Delight.  It doesn't take much to make us happy - just sugar!

In the process of making our way back to the hotel, we found the elusive Grand Bazaar.  It is not really all that elusive.......if you have a map........and you use it.  But we were adventurers, so we didn't which made it an amazing discovery!

Inside the Grand Bazaar

By the time we got home, Michel was feeling better and we decided to go to a seafood restaurant that Monique and I had found on our walk by the Bosphorus.

Interesting things about Istanbul:

  1. During the day and night, there are impromptu shooting galleries set up along the boardwalk.  There are balloons strung on strings and glass bottles set up on stones by the water.  You pay to shoot at them with a pellet gun that looks like a hand gun or rifle. (I think the RCMP would have a problem with this in Canada)
  2. At night, makeshift bars are set up all along the boardwalk.  A couple of small tables and plastic chairs, some liquor and badda bing! You have a bar!  Monique and I thought that Calgary should let people do this along the Bow!  Shall we start a petition?
  Dinner was great!  Monique picked the appy - topshan.  This is a small conch. The maitre'd had suggested it to us earlier in the day when we talked with him.  Now..........I have eaten conch before.  However, in Haiti, it generally comes all cut up and in a sauce.  Ours came boiled in the shell! And none of us knew what to do with it.

We are casual people but this was a bit of an upscale restaurant and so the maitre'd and our waiter were pretty formal.  When we indicated that we didn't know how to get the meat out, our waiter was kind enough to do it for us. I did, however, get the feeling that he was going "OMG! Freak'n tourists! Ordering something they don't even know how to eat!" in his head because he came across as if that was what was going on in his mind. Once he took the meat out of all 4 of our topshan, it looked like a spiral of mostly white meat with some dark meat at the tip.

As we were about to start eating it, we asked if there was a sauce for it.  Boiled conch is not all that tasty - it is kinda rubbery.  The waiter apologized and whipped off to the kitchen to get our sauce.  Score one for the Freak'n Tourists!!

While he was away, we tasted some of it.  I started at the smallest part of the spiral where it was dark and it did not taste good at all!!!!

That is when our waiter came back with the sauce and we asked if we were suppose to eat the entire thing.  He indicated (cause his English was not all that good) that we were suppose to cut off the foot and the dark part of the meat.  So, one of us clarified by touching the pointy dark bit and saying "No eat". 

At this point, he loses his formalness and makes a face like he has just eaten poop and says "NO!" so Michel indicates that I have done just that.  First, he gets this horrified look on his face for a milli-second and then, he completely loses all self control and just starts howling with laughter!  We all join in on the hilarity because what we come to realize is............we (cause it wasn't only me who ate it) have just eaten the sphincter and bile of the blessed beast! 

From then on, the waiter and the maitre'd (because of course, the waiter had to share the story) are our best friends and we had a great evening with them.  The rest of the meal was great.

If you are ever out with one of us and we are asked how our meal will now understand what we mean when we say "Definitely better than Topshan Ass!".

Topshan Ass Restaurant
We didn't even know the waiter was in the picture
until after it had been taken!

No comments:

Post a Comment