Partaking in Istanbul Eats #1

Istanbul Eats is “a serious eater’s guide to the city” which is me in a nutshell so you can only imagine how happy I was when I found out that there was not only a book but a website. The latter is far more useful for me over here (what with a limited amount of belongings and such).

Anyhow, while exploring the website the other day I happened to stumble across this blog post about a restaurant that I had actually recently visited (last weekend to be exact). So I was super excited to have already partaken in Istanbul Eats without even knowing it. I met friends at Van Kahvaltı Evi who were in town for the weekend visting from Ankara.

I was super impressed by the spread. There were four of us and amongst us we split 3 dishes – the traditional breakfast dish that was complete with a great variety of cheeses (like stated in the blog review), gözleme and a menemen. Now my favorite was definitely the honey – it had texture. That might seem and sound strange and awkward, but no it was overflowing with that much more flavor. Absolutely wonderful. Paired with the amazing kaymak and you are in heaven.

My friend was super excited to take us all here because of a type of bread that you can only get in Van (a city in Turkey) and they don’t always have it , but we were in luck because they had it and you better believe that it was the first bread to disappear from the obligatory table bread basket.

This is definitely a place where I will take others. It might be a bit far from my campus, but the bus and metro ride are definitely worth it in the end. Be sure to take note that a wait line tends to form (;

Do you have any recommendations for great places to eat at while in Istanbul?

Cheers from a serious foodie

n

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A Little More Paris

The day after my delicious French dinner in great company was all about getting to Sacré Coeur because travel buddy Jess was set on seeing it. No objections from me though because it really is a beautiful cathedral.

However, we did need to get a little fruit breakfast in us, so we first checked out one of France’s infamous produce/street markets. Fruit was eaten, earrings were bought and a new “friend” was made

Why hello there Mrs. Potato Head – fancy finding you amongst all those fella potatoes (;

Sunflowers are my favorite (:

Showing off how good their melons are

Jessica’s new friend. He saw me taking pictures of the stalls and wanted his picture taken with Jess

Love all of it!

It is France after all…

We spent a decent amount of time taking in the Cathedral. From the inside to the outside and all the views around it.

Too funny to not take a picture

After touring around the cathedral I bought a local band’s cd “Les Presteej” – I was smitten when listening to them playing on the side of Cathedral. They were pretty great and now they are forever a part of my music collection. Let’s not talk about how I don’t understand anything that they are singing about in French, but I feel that I am more cultured just by listening to it and maybe one day the language won’t frighten me anymore.

Les Presteej (not my video, but am thankful someone else uploaded a video of them)

The Carousel in Montmarte

Then it was off to take a glimpse of Moulin Rouge – interesting stop over. Along the way I got a Pain Au Chocolat (just for you Whitney and your continuous search throughout Illinois for one). Besides I think it is a cardinal sin to go to Paris and not have one.

Jess and I finally made it back to Notre Dame for about the 10th time but THIS time we actually went inside. Definitely worth the trip halfway across town for it. I still stand by my opinion that the outside (specifically the sides with all the gargoyles) is the best feature of the cathedral, but I still got some good shots of inside the cathedral.

Your neck hurts from craning it to see all of the details

Stain Glass

My favorite picture from inside Notre Dame

Of course I requested we stroll the exterior once more so that I could get a few more shots of the amazing gargoyles! Get there before they are all weathered away – they are incredible. I will blame my parents for the weird gargoyle obsession since we have one at our house.

The challenge is in the hunt for a gargoyle still in good condition – this guy was a top finisher

These guys made carrying around my telescopic lens worth it

The backside of Notre Dame with the Garden

One last photo of Notre Dame

By then our hours were dwindling before we were to board our flight to Lisbon – the next recap of my travels – stay tuned!

Cheers

n

Caught Running

Friday I have no class. It is a beautiful thing. I thought I had to do something productive with this past one though so started my day off with a run along the Bosphorus. Now the hills through campus down to the Bosphorus are a tad steep and I will probably be without knee caps or something by the end of it all, but I am too eager to get down to the waterside to walk down. So by the time I got to flatland (something that there is not much of in Istanbul) I had hit a good pace and had zoned out into my own world as is normal for me on runs. However, I might need to stop doing that because it got me a little tangled up. Yes, literally tangled up. All along the Bosphorus are amateur fishermen and there seem to be a lot more during the cooler hours of the day – naturally. Well one guy just happened to be casting his reel and got an early catch – me! Yes, my shirt got caught by this random dude’s fishing rod and let me just say it was quite the sight with me screaming because I was startled and him confused and apologizing in Turkish. Now I was glad he got my shirt and not my skin – looking for the positives here.

So yes – lesson learned – zoning out when running along the Bosphorus will lend me good tales. To continue or not to continue??

Cheers

n

I Just Wanna Be Legal

In my post of Rule #1 Befriend a Turk I summarized my “thrilling” evening of fun at the foreigner’s police station in my first attempt to get my application submitted for a long term residency/renew my current but expired residence permit that I got while in Ankara. Now I thought that was a long night of waiting around but my second time of going to the station (and this time solo) took the whole dang cake. It was an all-afternoon adventure, 7 hours to be exact. Sheesh do these people not think we have lives? Well maybe I don’t really have a life, but there are plenty of other things I know I could have been doing with that time like drinking çay and using any of the numerous café’s internet to do research where I seem to have taken up residency this past week with my connection still a hit or a miss at my apartment.

I felt like I was being kicked from one line to the next with no police officer wanting to take any pity on my soul. Now you might be wondering why I had to go for a second round of waiting torture and well I will tell you why because in hindsight it is a pretty hilarious story, but it has taken me a week’s time to get to the laughing stage.

The first time I went I had all of the required documents except there was a little fact that didn’t appeal to the police. There is always something. Now being an American and residing in the US and with most of my life back in the US it is not a stretch to assume that I in fact have a US bank account. Well the police wouldn’t take my bank statement from the US showing that I had sufficient funds to get by for 6 months in Turkey. By sufficient I mean $300 a month – that just covers my rent – no way a student can live off that in Istanbul, but I guess I won’t complain because thankfully for me the amount was low balling as I would soon realize my feat in proving I indeed had sufficient funds. So there I am with my US bank statement and the police telling my Turkish friend – sorry no can do. This lead me on my wild goose chase last Wednesday of getting a tax number (what does that even mean????? à still wondering myself besides it letting me open a bank account) and then proceeding to open a Turkish bank account.

Now in a huff and puff and lacking sleep I made my way to my parents hotel on Wednesday – you better believe I wasn’t fashionably late – I was rudely late, but thankfully they are my parents and they would rather have me legal than illegal. FPU (father parental unit) wouldn’t be too keen on trying to get my butt out of a Turkish prison – I hear they are quite the scary place to land. So, in the hotel lobby I am trying to find where the closest tax office is so that I can get a tax number. I found one about a half mile away so my parents and I set out to find it. Naturally, with my luck of the draw, I choose the one office that happens to be under construction (in reality others probably are too since there is always construction going on in this city) and in fact has been moved. Getting super frustrated on the street and looking like a complete fool by pulling out my laptop to see the screenshot of the map again to get my bearings, I asked a few people where the office was only to be re-directed numerous times to the point that I just said forget it I am going to find the other office. At this point I parted ways with my parents and I took off for the tax office by the grand bazaar. Yes, the grand bazaar as the largest in the world – this is a super important fact. Upon getting to the tax office which could be one of the more shady buildings I have ever been in (I wouldn’t want to see that place at night) I got in line with my on the verge of death phone and waited my turn. Upon asking for a tax number I was told to press some random number/symbol sequence into my phone. I was able to write the number down right before my phone decides to die. But, I still needed my phone. So at this point you better believe that I found myself handing my phone and phone charger over the counter to the laughing man and woman so that I could get my phone charged.  Now this is where the Grand Bazaar fact is important – most of the people who come to this tax office are from either Africa or the Arab speaking world and predominantly male since they tend to be vendors. I am far from the profile and maybe it was a good thing because the man and woman working the desk took pity on this poor American girl who couldn’t even keep a charge on her phone. Not to mention they gave me high fives when they found out I was American (the whole show your passport wherever you go thing). Finally I got my number and with a one bar charged phone I set off for the nearest Garanti bank to open an account.

I chose Garanti because they are suppose to have an English speaker at each branch.  LIES. I went to a huge branch and somehow not one of the 20+ people on the staff spoke English. Must I mention that I have never opened a bank account in the US solo (gotta love parents) and I sure as heck don’t know a lot of the proper lingo in English, let alone Turkish. So there I am sweating buckets – literally because I had run across town and I have found myself in a pickle. I had the girl not following that I had just gotten a tax number nor the fact that she didn’t want to let me open an account because I needed a valid residence permit while I am trying to say that I need the bank account to get the residence permit. Oy vey. Catch 22 like no other. By some saving grace the customer representative who was trying to help me had a friend visit on a social call. Said friend happened to speak English and basically told the representative that yes I know I need a residence permit to open an account but that I am not gonna do anything but prove my financial standing so just give me the account. It worked. I had another glitch with the phone which resulted in the customer representative having to charge my phone for me too – THIS WAS JUST MY DAY FOR MY PHONE TO BE LOW ON POWER. Why did my phone need to work at the bank – because they like to text you all your bank account info – I think I received 10+ texts from the bank while I was there.

An hour and a half and 60+ signatures later (no that is not an exaggeration – I was handed a packet of all the guidelines and had to sign EVERY page) I had myself a Turkish bank account. I dashed back to my parents hotel with the good news. Now it was just a matter of getting money into the account. Yes, normally an online transaction is easy but with international and US routing numbers, it wasn’t straight-forward so instead I went the route of pulling my max limit on withdrawals a day until I had enough.

On Tuesday morning I had enough funds withdrawn and I set out for Garanti to make the BIG deposit. I certainly felt like a high roller and also scared out of my chonies that I would get jumped in the short 10 minute walk to the bank. I made it though – explained my situation, got my money deposited and left smiling to the moon and back because I had finally gotten a Turkish bank statement. Yes this Garanti did have an English speaker – many in fact so that was quite nice, but I still had to pay a small fee for the services – what happened to the days when services came as part of being one of the bank’s customers?? Whatever I won’t complain because I was getting closer to my end goal.

Tuesday afternoon is when I went on my 7 hour adventure to the police station only to find out that I would have to come back on Wednesday. What do a Hungarian couple, Italian , New Yorker and poor little college student have in common? A hatred of the visa system – boy oh boy oh boy. Let me just say that compared to the Italian man I definitely kept my cool and next to the Hungarian couple my case should have seemed like a breeze. Not to mention a man with an unknown nationality and really sweet ponytail gave me valuable information that I wish I had known at the beginning of the process (the fee I would have to pay as the second to last step in the process could only be paid before 3pm because the cashier office closed then). Well that was just wonderful news – have sarcastic because really I was glad that someone who had to go through it all could give me a definitive answer.

Oh did I mention the cop with the hickey was back but her love necklace had healed (;

So finally Mustafa set me square and I finally parted ways only to know I would be returning in less than 24 hours. On Wednesday I dashed out of class and headed straight to the bus station because I was on a mission. Once I got to the station there was a huge line for the cashier’s office but thankfully it moved quickly. I paid my fee, went upstairs stood in a line that I shouldn’t have because I was directed wrong (again – no surprise there) to finally hand over my application and in return get my slip for retrieval!!! I think that was one of the happiest moments of my life regarding bureaucracy. That little slip of paper lifted so much weight off my shoulders. What a nightmare of an experience that would have been a heck of a lot easier if a clear outline of the process could be found somewhere – anywhere!

So here I am elated that next Friday I can pick up my renewed residence permit and go back to living a legal lifestyle here in the beautiful country of Turkey.

This definitely is one of those tears of frustration and laughter all mixed into one.

So now I am just waiting for my bank card to arrive and hopefully soon otherwise I am looking at figuring out another option of how to access the money in my new Turkish account….hmmmmm….the daily challenges of living abroad (:

 

Cheers

n

A Parisian Evening: Dinner and a Stroll

Following our bike tour my friend Jess and I met up with my friend Allyce for dinner. Allyce’s co-worker recommended her a restaurant which was absolutely delicious. The name of the restaurant was Les Cocottes which we learned a cocottes is a pot – see the photo below for an illustration. The waitress was super nice in explaining it all too us. Before I go any further though I need to mention how my friend Allyce is super modest about her French skills – she went rapid fire with the waitress with asking and answering questions. I was super impressed

 

A close up of the wine chiller bag

Allyce and I decided to be dates for the night and split an appetizer, our main courses and our desserts. This was definitely the most splurged on meal that I had while on vacation but it was absolutely worth it.

Allyce and I –> She is an amazing person to go halfsies with on meals – I am sure destruction will ensue next semester when we live together (:

Our wine for the night

Our appetizer – the chef’s special Pate

Main Course #1 – Steak

Main Course #2 – Lobster ravioli – yes under all that froth was actual substance (;

Dessert #1 – Waffle with Chantilly Cream and to-die for caramel sauce

Dessert #2 – A custard type dish with plums in it – super good but also it had a super French name that I am drawing a huge blank on

Now the pictures are a tad dark – this I know, but you weren’t suppose to use flash in the restaurant. In fact, at the table next to us was a group of people that had a local (or someone who knew French and had possibly been in Paris for awhile) and her friends who were visiting. When her friend took a picture with flash she kept saying “no flash, no flash”. Not to mention there was a pretty significant line forming outside the restaurant during our meal and it only seemed to get longer with every ticking minute. Definitely glad we got there as early as we did.

After dinner we went and watched the Eifel Tower “Sparkle Show” – not sure the appropriate name for it, but saw all of its lights flash for about 5 minutes on the hour. Pretty cool – was able to get a video of it too – but I will share this more EU inspired video with you instead that someone else has graciously posted.

Eifel at night

Eifel from underneath

We then decided to go and see the pyramid. Yes I went to Paris and I didn’t go inside the Louvre but I know I will be back one day and figure I have to leave some things unseen for my next trip to Paris. Thus, we had more fun walking from the Eifel Tower to the Pyramid late and night and then taking pictures by the lit up pyramid. Which I must say looks super cool at night.

It was then back to our box size hotel room, where you couldn’t even open the windows all the way because the bed was in the way. You just gotta love Paris and its small size everything. Stay tuned for a photo of my other room in Paris which somehow was even smaller (sneak peak – the toilet was at the foot of the bed)

Cheers from the city of small rooms (in spirit)

n

 

Paris by Bike

I started my first full day in Paris with a beautiful 4 mile morning run along the River Seine. Oh yes, it was sublime and I think I saw more joggers/runners that morning than I did my whole time in Ankara – maybe a tad of an exaggeration but I for once didn’t feel alone or feel like I was the daily entertainment. Lots of people had gotten up early to do the same thing I did – except they probably knew where they were going, versus I who was just running along trying to remember my way back to my friends. I made it though.

I continued to embrace the theme of covering lots of ground because my friend and I decided that a bike tour would be ideal to see the most of what Paris has to offer. Not to mention she needed something to keep her going since she flew into Paris from Chicago that morning. Now before setting off on a 3 hour bike tour, be sure to stock up on your energy. We found the perfect place in Paris. Well actually I researched it before hand and I sure am glad I did because it was the best gosh darn falafel sandwich I have ever had, and may just be the best on the planet – surely it has that title in Paris already.

L’as Du Falafel was heaven in chickpea form

The bomb-diggity

Huge food baby that would have to be biked off

After lunch we set off to our meeting spot for our bike tour. We had a fantastic guide – Billy the Scottish man who was a Yankee’s fan. We immediately bonded. He took us all over the city. We drove by everything – didn’t go into anything, but the weather was gorgeous so we were definitely happy to spend the day outside. Not only did I bike in a dress, but I managed to snap photos while biking too (and not crash..there were a few close calls) – that is skill though. Billy almost got me run over though when he summoned me through a red light – sheer terror was etched into my face and had him laughing for the rest of the tour. No big deal – it wasn’t like I saw my life flash before my eyes as a crazed Parisian driver was slamming on their accelerator.

Biking through Paris (Mind you my friend is on the go, there are cars present and I too am biking when I took this)

Loved all the little decor/architecture throughout the city

Elephant sign – just for you Kimber

How quaint are those windows?

Bike Fun – note the cheesy grin on Billy’s Face (in the red shirt) behind my friend Jess

The burial place of Descartes

The Towers don’t match – the church that is now infamous from Da Vinci Code because it is where the bad guy smashed up the floor – super descriptive, right?

The Peace Memorial – One of the most graffitied and vandalized monuments in Paris – Ironic?

Arc De Triumph from a distance – we didn’t bike too it – one of the most accident prone sights in Paris – no car insurance company insures accidents that happen in its round-about – aka excellent reason to not bike near it

Paris Opera – the home of The Phantom of the Opera. Interesting fact – it was built on top of a lake – yeah I am still perplexed by that little snip-bit

A fun lamp post

Me at the Eifel Tower. Wearing my running watch proudly with my dress – classy

Looks like a blown up version of all the mini ones I’ve seen throughout life (;

The Modern Museum – built inside out – not very pleasing too look at, but definitely an interesting concept

This guy gives hula-hooping a whole new meaning

One of the most original street entertainers I have ever seen

Our tour started and ended at Notre Dame – more so a parking garage under the church

One of the many stalls that line the Seine

At the end of our bike tour it started to rain (talk about perfect timing) so we took up shelter for a bit in this famous bookstore (:

My tip to you if you plan a trip to Paris – definitely do a bike tour – you won’t regret it. They are rejuvenating and you dont feel like you need to soak your feet at the end of it. A round of applause to my friend and I for not injuring ourselves during the tour and for taking no casualties.

Cheers

n

Night in Paris

Paris started off my 2 week European backpacking travels on a high note. The city was wonderful, but reuniting with 2 close friends was way more rewarding. As mentioned numerous times before, my friend Allyce spent her summer in the city of love and my visit was just in the pinch of time since she would soon be leaving for her continued adventures in Bologna, Italy for the semester.

It took me awhile to get to her apartment and it involved asking for directions, at which I intermittently spoke Turkish because of course the French understand Turkish…not the first time I have used the wrong language and it surely won’t be the last…by the time I made it to her apartment I was elated and so happy to see her. The night was spent eating dinner that she so very graciously prepared, chit-chatting at rapid speed and a midnight walk through Paris. Really putting meaning to the movie “Midnight in Paris”.

Phenomenal Cheeses, Jams, Light Spinach Salad and Salami with Mushrooms

Demonstrating the small size of Allyce’s Apartment

Her hundred plus old staircase – it was wider than I expected

Allyce being a goof in the stairwell

Walking around her neighborhood – she lived right near the Seine – super lucky

First time seeing Notre Dame – she is a beauty

Reminds me of a haunted house

My first night in Paris was perfect – great memories were made with a great friend. After that night I knew my time in Paris would be a good one.

Cheers “in spirit” from the 8X8 Parisian apartment

n

Rule #1 Befriend a Turk

Many things have happened these past three weeks and I am still trying to wrap my head around it all. I failed at updates this past week, but I will say that it is mostly due to the fact that internet at my apartment is non-existent. Well that’s a bit of a white lie – I can get a connection on my phone but not my computer – making some tasks that need the big screen a headache in a half. Thus I have been ‘forced’ to take up residency a few late nights in cafes around my school. Thankfully I love cafes.

Not to mention things like registering for courses (way easier said than done) hanging with the parentals and dealing with a messed up phone have take precedence on my time. Gotta have your priorities straight.

Now this post stems a bit from the ongoing struggles that is my life in Turkey – getting residency. I went through this back in Ankara and I thought that was a hassle, but sadly it has been more of a hassle in Istanbul. First things first I had to make an appointment online and my only choices were all super late at night. So with a 10pm appointment in the red light district of Istanbul I was a tad worry, as were the parental units. Thankfully I have befriended a Turk since then and he agreed to come along to be my personal translator.

The place was pretty much set up like a labyrinth with no directions what so ever. You had to ask to find anything and even then you got a different answer depending on who you asked about finding the right place. So we finally found the place, and my friend started to tell the police that I had a bus to catch and needed an earlier appointment. My appointment was not till 10pm and it was only 8pm. After being sent from one desk to another and back again a few times like a game of ping pong we started to make progress. My friend was trying to charm the female officer, but we soon realized that wasn’t going to work because he determined that she was more into one of the male officers – to include the spotting of a nice “love necklace” –> our saving entertainment for the evening.

Now my friend said to me in English that the officer had “beat on her neck” and the first way I interpreted this was that the officer had been beaten. But that was wrong – very wrong. What he was trying to say was the past tense of bite and once I figured this out – yes a demonstration of a vampire was needed to get back on the same level of understanding, I realized that he was trying to point out to me that the police officer was trying to cover up a hickey, which was on the side of her neck. Which had us both rolling in laughter. And then I spotted a few more where the makeup had failed. So there I am in the police station explaining a hickey and the pronunciation of it, because naturally he kept pronouncing it as “icky” which can you blame him? To sum it all up he soon was making up a song with the line of “icky girls get hickeys” –> haha like I said our saving entertainment because we then hit a barrier.

A big barrier.

I needed a bank document that I didn’t have in the correct format . Naturally it led to my Wednesday of hunting down a tax number and opening a Turkish bank account (another story for another time that I will preface by saying that it was extremely stressful).

Where things are now – well I am still working on getting said document and hopefully will have it cleared up by next week. I am super thankful I had a Turk with me. I recognized another exchange student at the station and told my Turk who followed it up by saying and “yes you see he brought a Turk friend also”. Haha – so lesson learned – if you go to a Police Station in Istanbul take a Turk with you because they will be needed – makes things a lot easier and you get seen a lot sooner.

The whole ordeal had us there till near 11 o’clock – and unfortunately I gotta return to the strange labyrinth were they send only the foreigners , but I think I would have had more of a panic attack if I went solo.

Cheers from a tired American who just wants Turkish Residency for 6 months.

n

A Story as an Apology

Hello hello hello. Yes I have sort of been missing for quite some time, and I apologize for that, but my travels got away from me and then so did my life upon trying to settle down in Istanbul. I’ve been going full throttle and well to be frank still am, but I thought I would try to amend our relationship that has been a little strained now.

I will be sure to post all about my backpacking through Spain and Portugal and my visit with my friend in Paris, but I would like to accompany said posts with pictures and well I kinda snapped a 1000+ pictures so am slowly wading through all of those. Sheesh I know – crazy.

Also, I for some reason have internet on my phone at my flat, but not my computer which makes things like uploading pictures a tad impossible. So I am bumming off my university’s internet while I chill in the grass and try to breath out that whirlwind that my morning was – as a precursor for another post it naturally has to deal with visa/residence permit issues. When the international office says oh wow this is a special situation that I have never heard of before well you know you are a tad SOL. It’s ok hopefully my 10 – at night and not in the morning – appointment with the police will clear things up a bit. I will save my visa extravaganza of a story for post my rendezvous with the police so that I don’t jinx myself and kicked right out of the country.
Only can push my luck so far.

My story for you is a tad comical. Now many people have been warned of said to come story to happen, but after 3 months here I really had let my guard down and just didn’t think it would ever happen…but it did – oh yes it so did happen. Let me set the scene for you.

About a month ago I was in Istanbul setting up my apartment situation which also led to me finding my parents hotel so that I could ask reception some questions. Little did I know that I was going to the WRONG hotel the whole time. Yes – naturally Istanbul has 2 hotels by the same name – or well I guess nearly the same name, but nonetheless not until my second visit to the hotel 2 days ago did I realize that I in fact was at the wrong hotel. So I set out for the Actual hotel that my parents were booked at so that I could make a change to their reservation. While walking to the hotel it was a bit windy out and a sign was knocked over. Being the good person I am, I picked it up. This led to a gentleman across the street telling me “teşekkür ederim” – “thank you”, to which I gave the appropriate response of “Birşey Değil” – “it was nothing – don’t mention it”. From this the guys eyes just about popped out of his head and he yelled out to me something in Turkish to the gist of wait you speak Turkish, are you Turkish? To which I yelled back, no I am not Turkish and yes I know a little Turkish. He was fascinated – did I mention I was in the most tourist area of Istanbul and thus being a non-Turk and speaking Turkish is rare – super rare. So naturally I had a small chit-chat with him on the street which led to another guy coming out of his rug shop. If you have ever been to Turkey you can probably guess that the next appropriate action was being invited to a cup of tea. So there I am in a random carpet shop drinking tea and being quizzed away in a combination of Turkish and English. All is fine until the question is posed “how many camels does your father want for you” – bahhhhhh. Yeah if you know me then you can picture me giving an awkward laugh with a serious stutter of a response and just avoiding the question as much as possible. Easier said than done. So the conversation continued with the added guest of the guy’s father – who gave me a long lecture in Turkish about how I need a Turkish boyfriend because it is the ONLY way to learn Turkish. Yeah ok. Now I don’t know where else the conversation would have led because I was saved – saved by an actual customer. That Aussie doesn’t know how grateful I am that she walked into the shop when she did.
Now in any case I would just shrug it off – but even in going a different way when leaving the hotel the carpet men still found me – so in short with it just around the corner from the hotel where my parents are staying for the next week – I am screwed or I better start working on my bargaining skills for how many camels I should ask for. He did own a Mercedes and a very nice carpet shop – I think I should use this slight knowledge to my advantage – don’t you think?

As I just hinted at my parents are coming my parents are coming!! Yes I will officially become their guide at 5pm tonight when I pick them up from the airport. So while I hope to blog a little more in the coming days – I am not sure how feasible that will be but I will give it my best shot.

Cheers to camels

n