Trip Start May 27, 2006
Trip End Aug 01, 2006

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Tuesday, May 30, 2006

After finishing breakfast and making a liberal application of sunscreen, we found our way from the University Guest House across the campus of istanbul Technical University. By foot and funicular, we moved up some winding streets to the busteling heart of Taksim square in the Beyoglu section.

in 85 to 90 degree weather, we walked down the prominant shopping prominade, stopping to get a Turkish cell card for Basak's phone, some Turkish candy, and multiple bottles of cold water. Walking back towards the main street after investigating yet another narrow, windind side alley, we crossed a 5-ish year old boy with his mother, grinning ear to ear.

What captured our attention was the boy's dress. He was wearing a long, white and gold robe that resembled the attire of a King. On his head was a golden crown. in his hands he held a long sceptor.

''Turkish royalty,'' i thought. ''Halloween in May,'' perhaps?

Sensing our silent, collective curiosity, Basak quietly made the announcement once he was several paces past.

''He's going to get circumsized.''

Thinking something MUST have been lost in translation, i parrotted back in question form - ''He's going to get circumsized?''

We had not misunderstood. Basak went on to explain that on the day the boy is to be circumsized, the entire extended family assembles, invites many friends, and throws a huge party in the child's honor. He is showered węth gifts and spends the entire day in that outfit, for on that day, he is royalty.
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