September 15, 2015

Our place is just 100 meters from the Bosphorus, the straight that separates Europe and Asia in Istanbul. It’s a steep street, as so many are as the city is built on many hills. Near the top of the street it gets even steeper,  reminding of the streets of S.F.

There are cats everywhere; I gather they do not have a neutering program. One kitten came onto the ledge of the open widow at the restaurant where we had a Turkish breakfast – cheese, bread, olives, coffee brewed in the cup (about $8 for the two of us). This one helped me eat the pink baloney looking slice they’d put on my plate. The friendly restaurant owner and then the cook chased it away several times, to no avail, apologizing to us for its presence. They did not seem to know we liked having it there. On the last effort I am sure they saw the pink stuff I’d just given it.

This is a place of delights and annoyances.  From the restaurant we went to after breakfast – Peggy did not like the Turkish coffee-  you can see the dome of the Hagia Sofia, shining still after 1800 years or so of gracing the plant, and the spires of the Blue Mosque. Somewhere over there too is the museum that houses Mohammed’s beard.  Or so they say.  The bay bristtles with ferry traffic, making for lively viewing as you sip the cappuccino they serve from the pushbuttom machine, which apparently thinks too much milk is a good thing.

The Bosphorous, Istanbul

The Bosphorous, Istanbul

On the other hand prices are not always posted in the small shops.  For some reason they see ‘toruist who does not know what things cost’ branded on our foreheads.  Last night the shop keeper tried to charge us 6 TL ($2) for a small container of yogurt (we went elsewhere and got a bigger one for less than 1/2 that) and the taxi who took us the last 5 minutes of our near midnight journey charged us 20TL ($6.50).  He said it was a metered ride.  His meter was well hidden.  Our landlady told us 10TL was plenty and to argue prices.  I’ve not gotten to the argue stage yet.