The Vagabond in Istanbul 29 January 2019 Humpty Dumpty took a little fall…



It is late morning in Istanbul, and I am finishing a late breakfast with a second cup of coffee.

Clumsy as I am, I somehow tripped and fell while walking through Sultanahmet yesterday; nothing serious – my upper left lip is a little swollen even though I iced it for quite some time yesterday.  It brought to a close what had been a lovely day.

It is always best, I think, when traveling internationally, to take confusion in stride.  So yesterday, as I was leaving the hotel, I hailed a “Taksi” and asked to be taken to the Grand Bazaar, thinking no one would not know that.  However, I ended up at the Egyptian Bazaar [who knew?] and when I shook my head no, he searched on his phone and showed me another Bazaar, which looked like the Grand Bazaar, so I nodded yes, and he took me there.

It was the Spice Bazaar and all I could do was laugh! I got out, paid him, thanked him with my translator app and went into the Spice Bazaar, which I had thought of visiting anyway.  For an hour or so, I traversed the 350-year-old market, with the smell of saffron and mint and every other imaginable spice wafting through the air.

Then I walked up the streets of Sultanahmet to the Grand Bazaar, seeing the life of Istanbul unfold before me as these crowded streets were not filled with tourists but with city residents out purchasing everything from spices to cooking pans.

The Grand Bazaar was better lit than I remembered it and I purchased some things for folks at home, doing a bit of fun haggling in the spirit of the place and with my packages began to descend the crowded streets of Sultanahmet when, plop, there goes the weasel!

Mostly it was my pride that was damaged though I did experience about five minutes of physical shock, shaken off by sitting down and letting it pass.  Haven’t a clue what happened.  It was one of the smoothest streets I have traveled, and I was stone cold sober but there it was – the sidewalk and I had an encounter.

Back at the hotel, I got a bag of ice from the bar, swished out my mouth with vodka as an antiseptic – best I could think of since I didn’t have Listerine handy – and went up to my room and held the ice there for some time.

One of the fifty things to do in Istanbul, according to one article, is to have dinner at Hamid, the restaurant at the top of my hotel, which I intended to do last night, and I have put that off until tonight or tomorrow so that I have time to heal.  Its food is supposed to be good and the view even better.

In an hour, I am going out on a booked boat tour of the Bosporus and that will consume the afternoon.

Tomorrow is my last day in Istanbul and I am looking forward to returning to the U.S., seeing old friends and continuing my vagabonding ways in America.



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