|Okelee Dokelee, Phil here again. First up, this machine operates in Turkish only, so I cant link up the Ipod. What that means for y'all is no photo's at this stage. Log off now if you are only here for the pictures.
Ok, so that leaves you Mom? Well, its been a top few days so far. Got from Istanbul airport to the backpacker area of Sultanahmet with minimal hassle. After fighting off a few "honest" touts in the airport that Fuzz befriended, we caught the tram in. The touts wanted $15 rising to $25 for the trip, and there's no other possible way that a man of my fine standing, with so beautiful a wife, could possibly even contemplate entering the humble city of Istanbul. Watch me, buddy. The tram we took cost us $0.50 ... Phil 1, Fuzz/touts 0. I upset a few locals by sitting on the packed tram with one foot in the air, a dirty act in the Muslim world indeed. A look of disgust I have not seen like that since, well, since Milton dropped his jocks and flashed his Rose of Malvern to the ageing male masseur at an ancient Hamaam in Tunis.
The tram dropped us off outside the legendary Blue Mosque, and at that precise moment the Mullah was calling the masses to prayer in the evening session called Magrieb. He was competing, or harmonising actually, with the Mullahs of the 4 surrounding mosques, a rousing, almost choreographed welcome to the city. It was the Drakensberg Boys Choir of the Muslim world ... well, those boys of the choir whose manhood is already in the warm firm grip of Grandpa Gravity. The mosque was lit up in a brooding yellow light which, together with the Magrieb, got Fuzz all teary eyed and emotional. Sweet Fuzz, still laden with full backpack, she did what she always does at heart-wrenching moments like these ... she looked at me, reached into her pocket, took out her cellphone, and called her sister. I flipped through a few cheap postcards and dreamt of shish-kebab.
The Poem Hotel in Sultanahmet was recommended to us by a work mate of Fuzz. Not sure what she did to offend him (Hi Dave) but, at $60, it must be the most expensive hotel room per sq metre that I have ever stayed in. Dave said it was small, but I didn't realise he meant so small that the missionary position was compulsory, and that was just to sleep. Nonetheless, despite my one foot out the window and one in the bog, we had a supremely comfy bed and we did both sleep a full 12 hours; and that, after all, is what a hotel room is for.
Laters, with more gripping tales from the near-East.