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October 10, 2004

One last update from Istanbul...

Ok - the Istanbul updates may be getting repetitive by now (enough Sofia photos?). It's my final evening here, killing time until I leave (at 3:30am!) so I figured one more update.

The girls left a couple of days ago. It seems that without them, and as soon as I hide my camera and ditch my shoulder bag that I am interpreted much less as a tourist. I don't get nearly the same sales pitches, and quite often people start off talking to me in Turkish. Also, the guys don't seem nearly as interested in talking to me, but maybe that's just because Jeanine has gone home ;).

I spent yesterday exploring Taksim, one of the ritzy european style shopping districts of Istanbul. It features a cobblestone street and an old style tram. It was a great place to duck off the main strip and explore the back alleys and hunt for the best kebap stand. It was also a bright sunny Saturday, and so the streets were packed.

This morning I tried to escape the tourists and I headed for the Asian shore, called Uskadar. As there are only two car bridges, the easiest way is via ferry. Once on the other shore, I explored for a couple of hours and hunted for a barbershop. In the tourist area of Istanbul, I had been quoted almost $20 cdn for a proper shave and trim. In Uskadar, $2 got me the full treatment (how's that for tourist inflation). Massive amounts of shaving cream, open blade razor, nose/ear hair trimming the full bit. It was pretty cool. I was a bit sketchy about the whole open bladed razor. None of the barbers spoke english and I think they were more scared of me than vice versa. Anyways, I don't think that I have ever had such a smooth and un-irritated face!

Another example of tourist pricing: near the hostel a doner kebap is $3, 15 min walk way $2, ferry ride away $1.

You know those stories about meeting people you know on the other side of the world? Guess who shared our hostel room with us the night the girls left? Erinne, Carla and Mother Willock! Crazy.

All for now. Flying to London early in the morning. Counting today three continents in thirty hours!

Posted by Alistair Howard at October 10, 2004 05:50 AM


Great photos - am trying to raise you on MSN - you appear to be on.....anyhow, see you at the ferry tomorrow

Posted by: Mum at October 10, 2004 08:16 AM