Watch out for the evil eye

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.

Turkish food with a hair?

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.

Mac and Kieran and Asher at the Grand BazaarMac at his crap heaven

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.

Evil eye tree

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.

4 thoughts on “Watch out for the evil eye

  1. Hope this doesn’t show up twice – Just wanted to comment on today’s blog regarding the Turkish Lira rate in the ’70’s.

    I lived there twice in the ’70’s and when I left in 1978, the exchange rate was 15 TL to $1. It quickly rose to that 1M to $1 shortly after we left.

    Quick comment on the “Evil Eye” – it is generally believed to be a good luck charm to ward off evil doers – It is the eye that is constantly on watch so no harm can come to you. You would rarely find a newborn that didn’t have some form of the evil eye pinned to them.

    Enjoy the rest of your time in Turkey. We loved it and I will be there to visit for the first time since ’81 in May. I’m looking forward to the Ekmek! 😀

  2. Tell me, do they still crack an egg on the top of the pide? I was there in 1999 when I was 20 and couldn’t get enough of the pide baked in the wood ovens. So good!
    You also have to try borek if you get a chance:flaky pastry that they dust with confectioner’ sugar.

    Happy travels!
    (PS. After seeing you guys on Oprah, I’m pretty addicted to your site. I did a RTW b/f I got married and had a baby; now I have hope that we CAN do another one with our kids!) Your parents rock.

  3. Mac… I’m very excited about the “evil eyes”. I like the idea of sharing good luck. How many do you think I can fit in my suitcase?!!? I also appreciate that you’re scouting out some plates for me. I especially like plates that carry happy memories, (and are from cool places!).

    Have you heard that Grandpa is flying to Denver in the morning to pick up his passport? Contrary to all the reports we’ve been getting from the tracking line… his passport wasn’t “in the mail”… so he has a 10:00 A.M. meeting at the passport office.

    Scott and Amy and Jade have flights to Germany tomorrow, but unless Jade’s passport gets to the airport in the morning, she won’t be going. Not fun!

    We love reading your blog entries AND the comments from other travelers. Hugs to everybody– see you SOON!

  4. Hello Six in the World!
    I am soooo excited and amazed by your travels. Today I sent your website to my children so they can enjoy and maybe someday take their children on an adventure like yours.
    I am about to retire and want to make something like this happen for my husband and I in the near future. Enjoy!
    Zerin Sahai

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