Istanbul

The Topkapi Palace was filled to the brim with selfie stick wielding tourists, replacing the once familiar vista of scimitar bearing eunuchs. The museum was vast, but I was particularly fascinated by the incongruous collection of relics on display in the left wing. Among the curios were Abraham’s saucepan, a turban that once belonged to Joseph, the staff of Moses and a rather rusty sword of David.

They were protected from the visitors by glass, which seemed appopriate, given the desirable qualities ascribed to them.

Moses’s staff could be useful should the need arise to produce water from a rock. The approach seems to firmly hit the surface, but with care, or the water might turn into blood, which can get messy. Other applications of the staff are the bringing down of plagues, most notably those involving frogs, gnats and locusts, but it’s hard to find a justified course to bring this into practise, unless, perhaps, you are a terrorist with a biblical predilection. Finally, it can be used to make a lasting impresion on bystanders by turning it into a snake (sources are not clear on how to retrieve it afterwards, so better do this last).
Abraham’s saucepan could be put to good use for cooking noodles.

Sketch I made of the Hagia Sophia

Sketch I made of the Hagia Sophia

On my repeated excursions through the Old Town, I frequently inquired after the price of döner kebabs as I found them a very agreeable and generally affordable means of sustenance.  There seemed to be an inverse relationship between the price of a döner kebab and the distance to the Blue Mosque.

Where y is the price of a döner kebab and x is the distance to the Blue Mosque

Where y is the price of a döner kebab and x is the distance to the Blue Mosque

When I went over to the Asian side I took the opportunity to make a few sketches of the Maiden’s Tower, a pretty building just off the Asian shore. These were my first attempts at what is popularly known as a cityscape. If it looks familiar, it might be because it features in two James Bond movies, most distinctly so in The World Is Not Enough.

Maiden's Tower 1

Maiden’s Tower 1

Maiden's Tower 3

Maiden’s Tower 3

 

 

 

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