Last night, two of the hotel receptionists, including my NBA-loving friend, took me out. Both are licensed tour guides and they gave me a free drive through the city. They showed me some of the more posh sites in European Istanbul, inlcluding a Starbucks on the Bosphorus that had the nicest room I've ever been in.
At one point, the police pulled us over because we're young looking and it was late. That was the extent of their reasoning. The policeman with buggy eyes and a small face was at least nice. He took the two guys' identity cards to see if they were wanted. Being American, I wasn't checked.
Then we went to a strand of food stalls where the vendors holler at you as you pass. The one guy was friends with a couple of the vendors and we were able to get the works for our Belgian Waffles and baked poatatoes. Basically, they stuff everything known to man in them and fold the waffle over. It's unbelievably good. And it was an absolutely wonderful little tour that I won't soon forget. It was all the more special because gas is so expensive here.
Today, I went to Asian Istanbul. I've been in Istanbul too long. While getting there, I helped an old Turkish lady buy her tram token. Coming home, I helped another old Turkish lady buy her ferry ticket. After taking the ferry myself to the Asian side, I walked the coast from Uskudar to Karakoy.
If I ever take you to the smooth rocks on the Asian side as the Bosphorus twinkles in the sunset, be warned, I'm getting ready to propose. And don't steal my idea you assholes. Later, a bird shat on my head. A direct hit. I rushed to a bathroom and put hand soap and water in my hair.
I've had an amazing, inspiring, and enlightening trip. It's all I could've asked for.