So after getting our akbils, we got on the ferry to go over to Kadikoy. On the way to Kadikoy we got to see a panorama of the mosques and Topkapi Palace on the Eminonu side of Europe, which was quite beautiful. Here's a picture of SultanAhmet Camii, Aya Sofya, and Topkapi Palace from when we were pretty close to the Kadikoy dock...
On the way to the Kadikoy dock, the ferry stopped at the Haydarpasa train station as well. Here's a photo; its not a very good one, but it's the best I have...
After getting off the ferry, we went to the weekly bazaar that was taking place in between the streets of Kadikoy pretty close to the dock. All of the colors, the smells, the yells of the people trying to sell their produce or wares or whatever, all of that was as familiar and as new an experience as anything. I felt right at home, but having ten other Americans who hadn't really seen anything like this made it seem like a novel experience.
We passed a fun day walking around the bazaar and the streets with all the vendors. The philosophy of the people selling clothes on the street seems to be to put up as many of their wares as possible in a very tiny amount of space, so it was as if we were walking through different forests. Forest of the Bikinis...Forest of the T-shirts...
Forest of the Socks...There were also Forest of the Tennis Shoes and Forest of the Belts and Forest of the Jewelry (Necklaces, bracelets, etc) but I don't have any pictures of those, so it will be up to the imagination of the reader to think up an image of those.
After walking around in Kadikoy for a couple hours, I left my group and went over to SultanAhmet to meet up with Professor Omid Safi and Professor Rob Rozehnal and their group of Americans to go to Tumata. Tumata is Rahmi Oruc Guvenc's group and is dedicated to researching and preserving very early Turkish music. And when I say early I mean early. When we went up to the museum-like part of the office, it was full of instruments that I had never seen before, and Mr. Guvenc explained that some of the instruments had actually been extinct before and they had just found pictures of them in books and manuscripts and had built them in their own workshop. A very impressive place, quite honestly.
All of the walls were full of different instruments, although they were kind of arranged by type of instrument, so one wall was full of string instruments; half of one wall was full of flutes kind of like the ney but just normal flutes as well; in one corner there were rhythm instruments cascading down; and many more. The string instruments were also divided up by how they were played be they plucked or bowed. After thinking that the world music class I took last semester would only be good enough to get me the credit needed, I was pleasantly surprised to note that the class was coming in useful now because I could look around and point out the different instruments knowing their names and the places they came from.
My uncle had also come to the Tumata place and he played the bendir for a while, and when the playing and singing were finished, my uncle and I left. While walking towards the dock, we stopped over at a watch store and my uncle started to bargain for a watch. This was very amusing to me since it was almost 11 pm and here we were bargaining for a watch...It got even more amusing when my uncle lowered the price to almost half the original price, then called his friend to ask him what price he had gotten. After learning that the friend had gotten the same price elsewhere, my uncle told him to come to that watch store and take a look at the watch there. What got me laughing was when we walked out of the store, my uncle said that although the salesman had said that he wouldn't lower the price, the friend that would go later to haggle some more would be able to bring down the price to half of the half that my uncle had gotten it to.
While walking down to the dock, we stopped at Bolulu Hasan Usta's dessert place and all I can say is yummy. I had kaymakli ekmek kadayifi, which I am very sad that I did not take a picture of but I will be sure to do so soon and post that up. It was wonderful. Delicious. Sumptuous. I was in heaven. And the kaymak was really good. It took away from the extreme sugar of the ekmek kadayifi. The only weird thing was that the place didn't have tea. I think this is the one place in the entirety of Istanbul that is a dessert place but doesn't serve tea. And no, it isn't just because it was very late at night. I went back there a couple days later and got a krem karamel and when I asked for tea they said they didn't have it again. And when I'd gone it was around 11 am.
When we got to the dock and got on the ferry, I started laughing again when I noticed that the helper for the salesman in the watch store was sitting behind us on the ferry. After that, my uncle and I came home and I crashed into my bed, exhausted after all the walking around and the heat. But what a wonderful day.