Sunday, 30 August 2009

To the end

on Our first night in istanbul as we explored the local regions looking for someplace for eats we were assaulted by various spruikers including one place that served the ottoman special dish of testi kebab and according to the restaurant they were the only place in turkey that did it.  Well, as we ranged further around the country we did find other places that served it but finally on our last night we made the decision to sample this local delicacy.  A spicyish stew cooked in a sealed amphora that is broken open by the waiter with a firey show.  Our waiter explained in between his flourishes that ocean's 7 was the ONLY place that did a true testi kebab and everyone else just copied them, I wasn't to argue but it was definitely a meal highlight in a country of great meals.  I caught an excellent YouTube moment of the show but it appears that tech issues may have resulted in the Android's storage card being fried and all of the content including music, photos and videos being lost (shades of similarity with losing my entire photo collection from SE asia in 2005) but at least there's alternative sources for memories, including my brain which is the only real storage medium for memories and it will be a little while before that storage zone is fried, I hope.
After eating we wandered up to the square where we were assaulted with Ramadhan celebrations, whereas it appeared that all of Istanbul had converged in Taksim a few weeks ago, it appeared that all of Turkey had moved to Sultanahmet on Saturday night.  I suppose you could compare it to the easter show but millions of people flocking in for a religious celebration is kind of amazing.  Every age group was there, it seemed very secular with picnics in every spare piece of ground, hundreds of food stalls and nargile zones and music pumping through the crowds.  A bit claustrophobic but very happy, energised and friendly.  It almost felt like turkey was gathering for a goodbye party.

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