Thursday, February 09, 2012

Seeing the Sites

My sleeping schedule resembles that of a murderer. I woke up at 3am today. I eventually went out in the blinding snow. I went into the Blue Mosque complex, but the inside was closed to visitors for prayers. I later went to the Aya Sofya, which was overwhelming. To see such a magnificent building built so long ago is astonishing.

If all I had seen was the Aya Sofya, dayenu. But I also went to the Topkapi Palace. The most emotional part was viewing the sword purportly belonging to King David, the rod belonging to Moses, Abraham's sauce pan, and Mohammad's foot print and a drinking cup. When you see something tangible allegedly belonging to these prophets, it begins to make them real. That is a profound experience.

The rest of the palace was also great. I enjoyed the circumcision room. Each room within the palace was dripping with opulence. That too was overwhleming. A lot was overwhelming on this day. I also visited the harem, which honestly wasn't worth the extra money in my opinion. At least not nearly the price of admission.

While viewing the weapons of the Ottoman's, I think I discovered why they lost. They had the most exquisite swords and axes that were labeled 19th and 20th century. How about I shoot you and we'll see what kind of damage your golden sword can do? When I was leaving the palace, I passed a group of American college students. I began to gawk at two girls in the back of the group, more because of their accent than anything else. I hadn't heard an American accent since the plane. I was also deciding if I wanted to ask them where they're from. But because of exhaustion and the cold, my reactions were slow and instead I was simply awkwardly staring at them. They noticed.

The whole day it's been snowing heavily although it's not sticking to the ground. It makes the streets very slushy and my shoes and socks were soaked through. The challenge is to keep my shoes from smelling bad for the rest of the trip. Also, I forgot to bring a jacket, so I've invented a new "Putz who forgot to bring his jacket and is too cheap to buy a new one so, yes that's right, he's wearing a fleece over a hoodie" look.

I went back to the room after lunch at about 4pm. I thought I'd take a nap and be ready for the night. But I overslept and I'm not hungry at all.

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