This post is going to be one of my shorter posts, because my last one was the longest one I’ve ever written. So here we go. Last week we stayed in Istanbul for a few days, and in that time we walked throughout one small part of the city. Though the area was small, there was a lot of culture packed in it. In a 6 block radius we had the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, many little city streets, and lots of traditional Turkish food.
I haven’t tasted that many of their traditional foods, but I’ve already found my favorites. There’s two of them: the Turkish style pizza called pide and the walnut baklava. Whenever we went out to eat, we would pass this little bakery that has lots of different baklavas. So after we ate we would go to the store and get like 8 every time.
I only recently discovered the pide two days ago when we ate at a little Turkish restaurant in Urgup. It may not have looked like the picture, but it still tasted pretty good. Unfortunately I almost upchucked because it had a big, long, thick black hair in it. That’s one of the problems that we’ve found in Turkey: all of the homemade food usually has hair in it, so you have to ignore it. Either there has been hair in all our food since the first one in Dax’s rice, or I’m just seeing things.
Other than food, there are also many other things you can buy in Istanbul. The main three things in order are rugs, kilims, and pottery/ceramics. I can’t wait until Grandma comes so she can buy special plates (she loves plates). They have this really cool shade of blue plates and bowls that they have at every store. The coolest thing is that they’re all handmade.Even the rugs and kilims are handmade.
But my favorite thing to buy are the blue glass eyes. They are said to keep the evil eye of old women away from you. Kieran and Asher wear these pins of the glass eyes that I bought them. It’s really funny because when some of the men on the street see Asher’s pins they put more on her. So Kieran gets really angry because no one gives him any. I can’t wait to buy some key chains here.
And the last thing I really like are the coins. They’ve changed the currency two times in the last 30 years, so there are three different sets of coins for me to collect. But because they got rid of most of the coins from previous years, they don’t use them anymore, so it’s hard for me to collect them.They had to change currency the last time because it was so useless. For example, now it’s 1.35 Lyra to the USD. The lira that they used three years ago was 1,000,000 OTL (Old Turkish Lyra) to the new Lira. I have a coin from then and it’s only 1000 Lyra, so that gives you a basic conception of how useless the coins were. I’ve looked online everywhere but I can’t find the exchange rate from the Turkish lira they used in the 70’s. I’m not sure what they’d call it: the old, old Turkish lira. Oh well, I guess I’ll never know.