Continued from Istanbul Day 1.
The day started with us trying to sleep in, but failing at that. The bright sun outside made its way through the ineffective blinds and woke us up. It was a beautiful day outside.
I started blogging, and SO decided that she would watch some fashion TV on our TV(she’s a fashion designer). Have you ever tried blogging while beautiful women get paraded on TV? Blogging didn’t happen.
SO went out in search of coffee, Turkish coffee. She found a cafe just around the corner from our hotel, but they had no to-go cups. The server from the cafe took this tray and walked with SO all the way to our hotel and let her take the tray into our room. Cool. SO hadn’t even paid yet. This is a different place than India. Turkish coffee was interesting. It’s basically just really fine ground coffee boiled and then put into a cup with sugar. You can’t drink the whole cup because there’s coffee ground at the bottom.
Beautiful blue sky here in Istanbul. Seeing this made me realize that I never saw blue sky in the 3 weeks that I was in India. The smog and pollution is just so bad everywhere in India. I really miss the blue sky, and it looked amazing over here.
Doh! I guess we’ll have to come back to look at the interior later. It’s very evident that we are in a heavily Muslim country. Several times a day, calls to prayer gets blasted on loudspeakers all over town. I am not sure if there’s a part of town that can’t hear the calls to prayer. It sounds like several different people sing and it gets broadcasted onto different speakers. Standing in one spot, you could hear many different calls.
The first portion of the palace that we visited was the harem, which required an extra ticket. It was worth the extra payment though because it was one of the better parts of the palace.
Well, that was fun. Beautiful tile work inside.
There were a lot of kids here in Topaki palace today. Field trip? When they saw us, they kept on greeting us in Japanese because they think we are Japanese tourists. We do get some attention here, but nothing like India. The kids were impressed though and kept on trying to get our attention and say hi to us.
There were also exhibit rooms here filled with incredible jewels, but no photos were allowed in there. The most impressive item that I saw was a pair of candle holders. They were about 5 feet tall, made with gold and covered in thousands of diamonds and jewels.
We can visit the interior of the Blue Mosque now. Except, we were yet again turned away. This way is only for people who are coming in to pray. Visitors will have to come from a side entrance, but it all leads to the same spot.
I think the doorman in the front was also racist. Everyone waited in line in front of us were visitors too, and yet we were the only two who got turned away and had to walk to the visitor’s entrance. He assumed that because we are Asian, we are not Muslims. Well, his stereotype worked out this time. We are not Muslims, but there are actually millions of Asians who are Muslims.
I am surprised there were so many tourists to Topaki and not so many here. What’s wrong with people? Topaki was just alright, it won’t even make my list of top 5 palaces that I’ve seen. The Blue Mosque is just so much better. People need to get their priorities straight. They need to get them more in line with mine.
None of the people who waited in line in front of us are praying… This is the man’s prayer area, in the front. So nice and peaceful inside here. I can just sit here for hours and embraced this grandness.
This is the woman’s praying area. It’s way in the back in a small fenced off section, behind where all the tourists stand. My Rick Steve’s guide book said that this is due to respect, and not due to misogyny. I call Bull Fucking Shit on it!
The Rick Steve’s guide book was written by authors living in Istanbul. Authors who are probably Muslim. Yeah, that’s right. I am Asian, so I must not be Muslim. You live in Istanbul, so you must be Muslim. I’ll make general sweeping stereotypes just as well as anyone else.
Anyhow, the authors give reasons that men don’t like to be disturbed by women bending over the in front while they pray and women don’t feel comfortable having men behind them staring at their asses while they pray. They said that putting the women way in the back is actually a sign of respect. BULL FUCKING SHIT!!! Have they not discovered this thing called “side by side”? Super conservative backwards society over here. Justify it all you want, but I am calling it like I see it.
Got back, and caught up on some blogging. I am way behind.
Yes and yes! Mixed grilled meat and they called the baked bread thing on top with cheese “pizza”. SO had ordered grilled eggplants(huge here) that’s hiding under the flat bread. Yum. This food is agreeing with my stomach more than the constant heavily spiced Indian food.
To be continued at Istanbul Day 3 Part 1.