Snake Oil and Opium Dens

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Apr 232010
Snake Oil and Opium Dens

The café looked like how I’ve always imagined an opium den (not that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about opium dens). Dimly light, deeply cushioned low-to-the-ground furniture, dark wood and deep reds, subdued voices…as the smoke curls up from each person’s pipe. It’s an odd thing. While most of the world advertises the […Read more]

Turkish Men and Pickup Lines

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Apr 192010
Turkish Men and Pickup Lines

All paths or conversations in Istanbul seem to lead to Turkish carpets. Walking through the Sultanahmet area is an obstacle course of dodging charming Turkish carpet salesmen who try to engage you in conversation, then lead you to their carpet store. “Where are you from?” is the most common opening gambit. Then they’d strike up […Read more]

Apr 052010

Cappadocia immediately reminded me of the South Dakota Badlands, but other comparisons are Flintstones’ Bedrock City or Luke Skywalker’s Tatooine. It is an other worldly place that seems more out of fiction than reality, but then you realize these strange-looking rock formations have actually been used as homes and churches for centuries. Although I had two different […Read more]

Mar 292010
Istanbul Continued

On Saturday I had lunch with Queen Victoria in Asia. One of the interesting things about Istanbul is that the city is located on two continents – Europe and Asia – separated by the Bosphorus, which connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara (and eventually the Mediterranean). So to hop to another continent […Read more]

Mar 262010

I’m wondering if I’ve missed out on my chance to run off with a Turkish man 10 years younger than me by turning down his offers to: 1) take me to lunch, 2) take me to dinner, 3) take me on a tour of Topkapi Palace, 4) sell me a Turkish carpet for $850.  Ah the lost opportunities in […Read more]