When Life Gives You Lemons
Like your average tourist, we couldn't leave Istanbul without buying something to take home. I mean you have to have some kind of souvenir, right? And bargaining in the bazaars is considered part of the "Istanbul experience." Coming from Jerusalem, we've been to marketplaces before, so you'd think we would be old hands at this. We didn't try anything as complicated as buying a carpet or a leather coat, which can set you back hundreds of dollars. We limited ourselves to a few fake designer shirts, a jogging suit, some leather wallets and belts, a couple of decorative pillows.
Turns out most of it was junk. The designer shirts, which were packaged, turned out to be damaged. One of them ripped down the front in the first washing. The tassels of the pillows fell off after one day. I still have my doubts about the wallets being genuine leather.
But we did buy one item that I am very happy with, and cost me all of 1 Turkish lira - a lemon squeezer. This gadget (see photo) is a kind of plastic screw that you twist into the top of the lemon. When you squeeze the lemon, the juice gathers in the cup-like top. If you don't need that much, the lemon, with the screw still in it, can be kept for a whole week in the fridge without drying out. Just put it in a glass or a small container so it stands upright. And where did I get this little marvel? On the ferry to the island of Buyukada. These ferries provide enterprising Turks with a chance to peddle their wares to a captive audience. On the way to the island, a fellow got up and put on a whole act, squeezing lemons and handing the screw around for people to examine. Packs of two were going for 1YTL. We bought a few and gave some as gifts. In this case, my only regret is that I didn't buy more.
La vitta e bella!
Even if you will face such street scenes like the one in the picture, don't be desapointed! The life is still beutiful!
Even if you are not the one who will change it (and believe me you can't) you can still find it's beutiful sides... just try to look for them... This is a woman from Anatolia with an amazing look and crystal-eyes doughter. Can be seen in Sultanahmet, on the Divan Yolu, near to the Tarihi Sultanahmet Kofteci
Although i saw a lot of turkish people that cant speak english they tried to help us when we needed - with hands or with other people that can speak english.
Most of the people i saw were very friendly.
For example - while waiting in the bazaar someone gave us chairs and offered tea or water and he didnt even tried to sell us something.
Have a cup of tea at Besiktas
I don't really know if it's really off the beaten path, but judging by the lack of foreigners I guess it is. In between Besiktas ferry station and Dolmabahce palace there are a couple of terraces overlooking the river. Local kids have a cup of tea or a snack here and the atmosphere is very relaxed.
Istanbul University Central Library
Established in 1924 as "Ýstanbul Darülfunun Merkez Kütüphanesi", this library was the first university library in Turkiye. The Yýldýz Palace Library collection was added to this librray in 1925. It has since been further enriched with donations ans purchases, and has become a major academic research center. Pursuant to the Depository Law on Printed Materials (1934), on of each of the five copies of all written and printed works published in Turkiye and collected by the government is submitted to the librray.
The library holds over 400,000 volumes of printed books, as well as 30,000 theses and 15,421 perodicals, and sits 800 people. The library has been in its present building near the Beyazýt Square since 1981; its former building now houses the Museum and Rare Books section of this library which contains a total of 18,606 manuscripts (9,943 in Turkish, 6,967 in Arabic, and 1,615 in Persian, 81 in other languages).