Saturday, December 27, 2008


Greetings From Istanbul

...where the I-Phone is being enthusiastically promoted as the "Turkcell". This is the Hagia Sophia, built in 527 AD by Justinian who, on completion, shouted "Solomon! You have been outdone!" He had to have Wolfgang Petersen balls up the final line for his incandescent project.

The inside of the Hagia Sophia is striped like a tabby cat:

The outside of this tabby cat is striped like the inside of the Hagia Sofia:

As you can see from the note attached to her collar, Cara was wishing me a Happy Birthday. She came right up to the pistachio baklava to inform me of her joy at my having been born. I was most surprised.

The "card" and cake were arranged by my newest and (obviously) bestest friend Dani, who (when I went to the bathroom) told the waiters "Emma likes cats and chocolate". A broad if fair summation that turned out well for me, and certainly better than if she'd said "Emma likes stabbings and vomit".

A brilliant discovery is the Hamam open from 6am to 2am. So if you have jet lag or insomnia (check and check) you can at least go and get pummeled. Not really helping matters is the Turkish coffee/Gypsy music combo. Rose tea here is beautiful but it's the coffee - which is basically espresso times ten - that is the perfect drug to go dance to local bands. The men here are not at all like Roman men. They all try and talk to you but they never harass or intimidate. Getting followed up the street seems to come from a real place of female worship rather than aggression and misogyny. They seem to have a longing, a loneliness that they wear on their sleeves.

But my favourite thing is the Muslim call to prayer that echoes across the city five times a day. It carries with it a palpable yearning that feels both despairing and erotic.

What a wonderful holiday! Nice pics! My friend and neighbor is from Turkey. I was just over her place recently trying out some Turkish foods.
*stabbings and vomit* are REALLY, wait...I'd rather have some *pistachio baklava* instead LOL.
A Lebanese friend of mine would always bring baklava straight from Beirut...I dare to say that 't was the best Baklava in the whole world! What a delight...hmmmm...

You're the birthday girl - is that right? HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
When is your b'day...on the 27th?
Treat yourself to something NICE!
Happy Birthday. What a wonderful way to spend it! I've always wanted to go there. Thanks for sharing the pictures!
Is it me or is this blog getting longer and longer ;-)
Is it me or is this blog getting longer and longer ;-)
*But my favourite thing is the Muslim call to prayer that echoes across the city five times a day.*

One of my favorite thing that I really missed when I left Algeria.

el-adhân I know it by heart.

Happy Birthday. A beautiful day in a beautiful place.

Ps : Stone je devrais un jour t'envoyer les baklava au amande de ma mère, un bout de paradis en bouchée. ^^
Arggll...double post...sorry.
T'es sérieuse? fallait pas le dire, il fallait VRAIMENT pas dire ca! Maintenant je vais en rever LOL.

*el-adhân* - est-ce la prière traditionnelle?
El adhan, c'est l'appel à la prière. Afin que les musulmans sache l'heure de la prière où qu'ils se rendent à la mosqué pour prier, ce même chant aussi annonce la fin du jeûne pendant le ramadan.
Merci Dihya!!
OFF TOPIC...way off topic!

Is it just me or is anybody else appalled at the recent events in the Middle East?
Mrs. Rice said that today's carnage was the fault of Hamas...How very helpful - I'm sure that this is a great comfort for the parents who mourn their dead children, or the woman who mourns her dead brother...
It's the fault of BOTH sides, for God's sake.
Only two days after the birth of the Messiah, shortly after Ramadan and during the celebration of Chanukka, more than two hundred human beings died in the Holy Land - in the most un-holy spot on Earth.

How fucking sad is that?

Only four years ago, more than 200 000 people died during the Tsunami ...relief workers from all over the globe came pouring into the countries that were affected by the monster wave. 2 days ago, there was a get-together of survivors and people who lost relatives and friends in the course of this desaster of biblical proportions.
What I'm trying to say is this...we are faced with so much heart-ache, suffering and (natural) desasters in our lives that there is actually no need to add the extra quantum of mayhem and heart-ache by cutting each other's throat.
What we are capable of in terms of humaneness...i.e. our most beautiful virtue...was clearly shown in the after-math of the Tsunami with hundreds if not thousands of people who selflessly and tirelessly helped those in need.

We have the potential to be the best we can be or the worst we can be...let's show these morons called politicians on EITHER SIDE OF THE FENCE that we want to be the BEST WE CAN BE.
I could go on and on about what happened in Gaza...actually I just did on your blog, Stone.

I lived in Istanbul in the early 70s. It was the best time of my life (sad to say). I remember watching the muezzin step out and do the call to prayer. A few years ago I was in Jerusalem and I was listening to the call to prayer and I realized it was...a recording! I was horrified.

Someday I have to go back to Istanbul. Thanks for the pictures, Emma.
for the first time I LOVE every word you wrote, ;)
maybe it`s begnning. your mind opening to mine and vice versa
i`m happy.
i did not wont to be anonymous, i`m just not in love with technology.

beautiful pictures &happy, happy birthday!
The calling to prayer was my favourite part of staying in Marrakech as well.

I have to admit I felt far more intimdated by the men's attention, but perhaps that was just because I was on my own. Or because I'm a wimp.

I'm gonna go make-believe with my black soap (it's nearly a hammamm right?)

Love the cat-gram!

I quite fancy this alarm clock:

Happy Birthday!
For those of you who live in Los Angeles: I found out from the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network that there are some demonstrations planned in LA:

Sunday Dec. 28, 2pm: Emergency Demo for Gaza in Anaheim 512 S. Brookhurst St. between Orange Ave. & Broadway.
Tuesday Dec. 30, 4:30pm: Rally in front of Israeli Consulate (6380 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles).

I'm not sure who the local organizations are.
Happy Birthday Emma.
You're so young!

On a more shallow note:

My husband and I both agree that you are a beautiful woman. Really really beautiful.

Loved your essay in Damage control. (Would love to hear more about your New Zealand Beau).

I'd love to have a tattoo but feel I'd never really be happy with the end result. Like tiles that looked great in the shop but look horrid on your walls.
Hi Cathusmax, a friend of mine has such an alarm clock...seriously! He isn't a Muslim or something...well, he's gay (I donno if THAT explains it LOL). At any rate, the alarm/sound is bloody hilarious...I guess you wake up laughing!
Sorry I'm late but HAPPY BIRTHDAY Emma! I hope you had a great one, it looks like you did! Really love this post so much. And the Hagia Sofia is stunning, as is the cat.
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