When a guard has a Machine Gun-Follow the Rules
Trip Start Jul 19, 2012
4Trip End Jul 24, 2012
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Especially when it comes to Museums and Church's....My mom is very thorough, and if there is a plaque that shares a bit of information on that ancient relic, or history on that monument... it is there to be read, and my mom will not pass it by. She is like a walking encyclopedia, which makes it very handy in not lugging around your guide book to fill you in with information of this history of the ancient monument you are exploring....but it sure makes for a longggg day when there is nothing to be missed :)
So, today I kept up with my mom. My favorite Mom sayings are. " Lets just pop in for a peak" or " I'm just going to sneak a look at it " . I smile and follow along, knowing that its all in the circle of life in a way flashing back to moments in my childhood where my mom sat for hours coloring with me, and enjoying every minute of it
There are alot of people visiting Istanbul here this time of year. It could be because of Ra-madam, or it could just be the usual summer time crowds. But one thing I do know....there are not alot of Americans here. Too Far? Maybe this far middle east seems a little too edgy and off the beaten path for most when other familiar destinations are more in the comfort zone? But for you who know me, know that I don't mind at all being off from the typical crowd, and love being more of the "edgy" traveler, but I don't feel Istanbul is far off the beaten track at all. The people are wonderful here. So friendly, and helpful. The food is healthy and Delicious.And the coffee.....a drink of that strong Turkish coffee and I'm in heaven.
So today while we were at the Topaka Palace, a imperial residence for more than 380 years, in which a great conqueror Ottoman lived with his Harem of wives and extended family. We explored a Museum with showcased many of his treasures including his bed, which could of slept at least 6 people.....did he actually sleep with more than one of his wives at once? it was said that they were only allowed to marry four wives at a time, but have Hundreds ( yes, Hundreds) of mistresses who resided there as well to be at his beck and call if so desired. I will keep my comments to myself on this matter, :)
As we were exploring the palace and some of the Mosques today, I couldn't help but notice how there are always a few in the crowd, who just cant follow the rules. For all of you that know me, I am a rules person
But today at the Palace....even though a guard was armed with a machine gun, this one tourist decided that she was so above any such rules, and climbed over a obvious fence, with a sign stating" DO NOT ENTER" to have her boyfriend take the best photo ever! on a lawn that was strictly off limits. Oh, I have to watch this.....The guard blew his whistle and everyone attention turned to this woman in her red dress and high heels, such a great outfit choice by the way for a day of long walking and sightseeing. She wanted attention, she got it....that guard ran towards her pointing his rifle and you never saw someone leap over a fence faster in your life....it was entertaining to say the least...sadly I doubt she learned her lesson.
But some of things, I learned today....
For some odd reason locals here selling things think Americans will pay full price and are suckers when it comes to purchasing ridiculous things that we don't need.....hmmmm......so when we were asked repeatedly " Where are you from? America? " I replied " No, Canada...Vancouver" They smiled and walked away. My mom is a horrible liar and could not fib to save her life, so I had to do all the talking....
If you want to get someone off your tail haggling you to buy a leather coat, say your a vegetarian, works every time.
Never eat or buy something to drink next to a popular Attraction or Museum
If someone approaches you and seems like they are just being friendly and asks where you are from, they are not just being friendly, they want you to buy something, probably a rug...say you are from Canada, Canadians have high regard to not being easily scammed, and are smart tourists, and seem very respected in my travels. Sorry fellow Americans.....
The day ended with dinner on a rooftop terrace at a restaurant recommended by our hotel as a local favorite, it was lovely. We blended in just fine, and made it through the whole day without being pushed into buying as much as a postcard. Tomorrow, Boat ride down the famous Bosphorus River....thanks for the tip Peter!