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I'm in Turkey right now, travelling with Ozge. It is such an incredible luxury to be travelling with someone who speaks the language and understands the culture. Turks are very warm people but outside of Istanbul there are few people I would have been able to communicate with on my own.

Ozge's depressed about the number of women she's seen in headscarves. She thinks there are more than the last time she was here. She's been having despairing conversations with other secular-minded Turks about it. I didn't get her reaction at first, but basically there's a cultural war on here, and she sees the headscarf as primarily a political statement, not a simple religious preference. And if she sees a woman in a chador - well.

Also, the call to prayer would be more pleasant to listen to if it wasn't amplified. Every minaret has a loudspeaker on it. Every one.

Apart from that: the treasures of half a dozen empires over the last 3000 years, fabulous food and drink, you know, that kind of stuff. Istanbul is obviously one of the Great World Cities, and since I prefer cities to beaches, Ozge had to drag me out. But I'll be back ...

last timestamped: 07:01:05 25-Jul-2008
in categories:Travel/Vagabond'08





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