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Istanbul, Asia

Aka, Merry Christmas.

My unpopular opinion is that you can’t really be considered a continent if your land mass connects clearly with other land masses.

This is obviously obnoxious, and obviously also a stance I only take because it serves me particularly well as an Australian. Aka the inhabitant of an Island-Continent that basically takes up a whole tectonic plate.*

(*actually apparently it’s an Indo-Australian plate, so I have to share with Sameer).

Mostly, I like to share this view with any Europeans who feel particularly strongly about their separation from non-europe places. Particularly when all of that ‘european culture’ crap comes to play.

But I digress.

On Christmas day, we took a very short train ride from Istanbul, which is Europe, but not the European Union, into Istanbul, which is Not EU and also suddenly Asia.

The world crazy.

Guess what you guys?!

Asia has cats.

Great colour scheme cat!

Sameer’s feeling of ‘I’m home’ (I’m obviously editorializing heavily here, in a way that I know Sameer will hate), was immediately shaken by the fact that that the places we tried to eat breakfast in didn’t actually sell breakfast. At least not of the egg variety.

Literally the response from the waitress when Sameer asked for eggs:

We went for a little walk along the beach/coast, where, BEHOLD! more cats!

.. and then made our way up into the city.

Here we discovered that Asia, like Australia, has really big cockroaches…..

… saw some cool street art….

.. and also some very crazy Christmas decorations….

Luckily, we were soon able to recover from the lack of breakfast by feasting on some icecream.

Sameer made the brilliant choice of opting for Tahini flavour (Sesame is one of the few things that you can add to ANYTHING and make it better. I challenge you to argue against this opinion).

And we also tried some thick drink called Salep; a hot starchy glue made from the bulb of orchids, sweetened with sugar, and garnished with some cinnamon.

Pretty good, especially for colder weather.

There’s not much more to say about our Christmas day adventures, because we mostly just milled around, ate some food, and looked at cats.

But I think it’s ok for some blog posts to mostly be photo diaries.

I did manage to buy some small berries from a store. I was completely unsure what they were, and when I asked the man just pointed to some strawberries, which felt unhelpful.

As it turns out, they are from the strawberry tree, Arbutus unedo. Not a bad flavour inside: very soft and almost apricot-custard-y. But the red parts are quite hard, don’t really break down with chewing, and end up stuck in your teeth. Would eat again, but only in small doses.

There was also a delicious spiced date/nut thing, which was a bit similar to some of our family’s baking recipes.


Part of our afternoon included some chilling in a fairly nice restaurant…

… and part of it involved a bit more city strolling.

There were also more cats:

Eventually, we hopped on a ferry, and headed back home.

Gliding past a few mosques, which Sameer claimed were probably all the Blue Mosque.

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