Monday, 31 August 2009

Next year? insillah

We awoke to a city decorated with even more flags than usual. Up till now the only place with more national flags fluttering has been the US of A but on 30 august, victory day, istanbul has handily clinched that dubious honour.  We had a late checkout, thankfully, as it took us the best part of an hour to arrange our acquisitions in a configuration that would allow the zips to close.  Here's hoping that we don't get caught out with a weight violation on the Istanbul-Dubai leg of the journey home (I was reminded, reading the Poisonwood Bible that while airlines can be strict on baggage, they rarely weigh the passengers so we might be decked out with every t-shirt and pair of pantaloons we've got with us).  The last museum of the trip was the old Sultan's palace and was definitely the highlight, the contents of the treasury are simply spectacular, classical treasures which you only expect to find in a d&d game with with a very generous dungeon master, egg sized emeralds, bejewelled swords and armour, the biggest and most ornate candlesticks I've ever seen and, of course, the 89 carat diamond whose name I've forgotten already that was originally found in a garbage dump and then sold for three spoons.  I guess the finder, like me, wasn't a very good haggler.  All of these items gifted and swapped amongst the royalty of the wider world, at least now they seem to be in possession of the "people".  Decided to seperate for a while as I couldn't quite muster the enthusiasm for another venture into the western style malls of this town. The last day of a trip always feels quite strange to me, I end up wandering the areas that I'm now familiar, I feel that the spruikers realise I've been there for a while and are ignoring me now although perhaps its just me who is ignoring them but maybe not completely.  In our last hours we still, bafflingly, acquired more stuff, and this was complimented by the fact that we probably ingested another couple of kilos of foods, foodstuffs and food related non foods.  Somehow managed to schmooze our way onto the plane with all the extra kilos we've gained on this trip and there were no arrests for public disturbances either (which never go down well at airports). 
As for returning to this country, as much as I've loved I can only hope that the travels take me back although returning to a country is always difficult when there are so many others I am yet to see.  I surely hope I will because if I don't there's going to be a rug seller who will be very upset with me.  Insillah. 

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