Friday, July 21, 2006


Bayram was born in Makedonia in 1932. Muslim.

He remembered his friend Abraham, a neighbour. During the war, Abraham's father would recycle old useless shoes, repair them and sell them in perfect condition so they would have some money to eat. One day he came to play with Abraham and he was not there. He had been taken to the "train" by the Nazis. He went to see his friend in the train. The wagons were locked, and all he could see was the hands of the people coming out the ventilation windows begging for water and food. He asked a german soldier about Abraham, and the german soldier told him to get out of there or he would kill him. He ran away. He came back the next day to see the train was gone. Later he learned that the Nazis were making soap out of the jew's corpses fat.

His father was killed by the Nazis in 1943. The house next door was bombed by the allies. He became a soldier of Tito. He said Tito was a good man, very intelligent. He moved to Istanbul 32 years ago with his wife and 2 daughters. His wife is from Slovania. He works in the souvenir store. The only store that charged very decent prices, 25 YTL for two cotton shirts. We spoke in German and English. He had beautiful blue eyes.

I had a bottle of water right next to his store. I chatted with the owners of the little place. she wanted me to be the boyfriend of her daughter... He also had beautiful blue eyes...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hotel de Londres

After we had our drinks, Marie Andree left and we walked around Taksim a little more, we only saw men with men, no women on their own. We stopped at the London Hotel, buitl in 1892. Great Lobby and Bar area, with birds and parrots. Absolut mini shot with an olive. It was a Deja-Vu for me. Ali drove me home. I could not sleep very well because I had the brilliant idea to check my email and realize one of the sites I produced was not working. Stupid ASP programmers, they complicate their lives too much and made a total mess. The site is up and running, but still, it gave me a bad headache.


Taksim is the "party" area of Istanbul. A kind of "Zona Rosa" in Bogota. BEAUTIFUL Art Deco buildings, and people people people everywhere, on a monday evening! We had a delicious dinner, only Meze, where the menu is a huge tray with little samplers of the plates. DELICIOUS. We met a very nice girl from Montreal, Marie Andree, and I have to admit, she would have been the perfect girlfriend for Ali... I insisted I wanted to go to a little Gay Bar I saw on the way to the restaurant called Sugarcubes. I wanted to see how openly gay men behaved. Nothing different, great music, great taste and faaabulous queens anywhere. But, I have to say, it does take balls to be openly gay here. Most of the men are bisexual and they definitely look at you and even make proposals to you in the street. They are all married. I guess they do not see themselves as gay men if they are top or married. So, chapeau to the handsome men at Sugarcubes. The waiter was wearing a T-Shirt that said "Cocaina de Pablo Escobar / de puta madre" and I was wearing my Bogota shirt.... Oy... the Colombian reputation precedes me...


Back from the ferry, we walked around the pier, and stopped to have Ayran and a milk dessert that looked like creme brulee. It looked delicious... but no sugar for me.

I learned the reason why there are no trash cans practically anywhere: terrorism. The terrorist can hide their bombs in there. So no restaurant has public trash cans.

On the way back we saw a library called Global with signs in English criticizing the theory of evolution and accusing darwinism of the most horrible crimes. I was in shock and awe. I cannot believe that stupidity and ignorance can be exported, and that people are actually making money out if it. Well, if you can find a McDonald's here, why not a library devoted to Intelligent Design? Crap is crap anywhere in the world. I choose my Kofte, my Ayran, my Aubergines, my Chai and my Darwin.

Anadolu Kavagi

My first time in Asia. Interesting moment. On the other side of the Bosphorus.

When we got to the town of Anadolu Kavagi we started walking in the neighborhood. We stopped in front of a humble house with a plum tree, two ladies came out and started talking to us in turkish, very nice ladies, they invited us in and they let us try their three different kinds of plums, red, yellow and orange. Delicious. They were all happy with us, they told us that they own a souvenir shop and their husbands were working. I love talking to people, well Ali translated everything. A cute dog was following me all the time, it's funny, but stray dogs follow me all the time. Dogs, not men...

We had a traditional lunch not far away. Meze, fried fish and blue fish. Delicious.


We met this really nice family from Orlando, Florida, in the Hotel, Len, Nicole and their daughter Lilly. He is a professor of Biology, Lilly wants to become a lawyer and Nicole is from British Guyana. Very nice people. Nicole was sick, so Len and Lilly joined us on our tour to the Black Sea, well, almost. We took the ferry up to Anadolu Kavagi, an hour and a half trip on the Bosphorus going North, almost on the Black Sea shore.

Beautiful day, beautiful homes and palaces and mosques. They sold Ayran and Chai in the ship. And I did not get sick, I usually get rewally bad motion sickness. We talked about life and religion, and how Turkey has been becoming gradually an Islamic country again... Lilly was shocked of the way people looked at her when she was wearing shorts.

These are images of the round trip. U$5 in a public ferry, no tourist trap.