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Taksim Square

His answer, "Sucuk, hotdog."

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Istanbul, August 27th 2012

Taksim...? Taksim... wait a minute. Where did I read that? Oh ya! It was mentioned in Rough Guides Turkey. This time I had turned to a second lover: Rough Guides. First one is Insight Guides, always. I left Insight Guides Turkey on my bookshelf because it was too heavy to bring along. However, I did bring Insight Guides Silk Road with me. That's un-replaceable.

Quoting from Wikipedia:
Taksim (from Arabic: تَقْسِيم‎ taqsīm) means "division" or "distribution". The Taksim square was originally the point where the main water lines from the north of Istanbul were collected and branched off to other parts of the city (hence the name.) This use for the area was established by Sultan Mahmud I. The square takes its name from the Ottoman era stone reservoir which is located in this area.

Here's that stone reservoir.

I always treasure the presence of wild pigeons in metropolitan cities. Lovely.

Still quoting from Wikipedia:
Taksim is a main transportation hub and a popular destination for both tourists and the native population of Istanbul. İstiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue), a long pedestrian shopping street, ends at this square, and a nostalgic tram runs from the square along the avenue, ending near the Tünel (1875) which is the world's second-oldest subway line after London's Underground (1863).

As a transportation hub for tourist, it's already proven by Istanbul Hop-on Hop-off Tour Bus making Taksim Square its stop.

About this busy street, Istanbul Trails tells us:
Also noteworthy is McDonalds. It was the very first McDonalds restaurant to open its doors in Turkey, generating long queues at the time with grandfathers, all dressed-up, taking there grandchildren for a bite in the new tasty hamburger that hit the town. While at the subject of junk food, the various snack bars and junk food restaurants at the entrance of Istiklal Caddesi are also considered landmarks in the eyes of the locals. Not for their nouvelle cuisine obviously, but for a quick bite while staggering home after a great night out.

Well, I didn't seek for that first McDonalds, but for something more Turkish:
Honestly, it was that '6 TL' that was tempting more. The man's English was very close to zero whilst I wanted to know what the difference was between the two. And then I asked a super duper stupid question,

"Which one is chicken?" I was asking that because I thought I had had enough mutton while I was in Xinjiang.

His answer, "Sucuk, hotdog."

My repeated question, "Which one is chicken? This one?" I pointed on the words on top. "Or this one?" I pointed on the words below.

"Sucuk, hotdog," he repeated as well.

"Yes, hotdog. But which one is chicken?" There's chicken hotdog also, isn't there?

"Sucuk, hotdog."

I gave up. I told myself, "You see, it's not my fault. I've tried to restrict my diet, but this guy doesn't understand." I was anyhow happy to have an excuse for myself. Hurray!

Not until I edited my shots did I realize what a terrible stupid question I had made. How can these kind of meat look like chicken?! Even bloody chicken meat wouldn't look this reddish.

When my meal was served on my table, I was surprised. Sucuk, hotdog. Yes, it's 'hot', but where's the 'dog?'? These are only slices of meat, French fries, and vegetables. What should I ask now? "Excuse me, Sir. Sucuk? Hotdog?" Ah, whatsoever, just eat and be merry. In Turkey I feel that I get hungry every two hours. The food is so much to my liking, even the vegetables. Here in Turkey, I bid my veggie enemy: cabbage, farewell.

Oh ya, according to Prof. Google, 'ayran' means 'buttermilk'. Ayran can be found in every corner of Turkey. It does taste like milk but rather sour like yogurt. When I first drank this ayran, I concluded it was yogurt. I even drew a logic that after consuming meat it's good to drink yogurt that would neutralize the fat from the meat. Nevertheless, later on, when I went to Carrefour, I found out that ayran is ayran and yogurt is 'yoğurt'. Anyway, to my opinion, it's a good combination of taste between the fatty meat + French fries and vegetables + ayran. For those who dislike the milky taste of milk, I think ayran can be a solution.

Across that busy Istiklal Caddesi just now, is a very cozy and spacious park. Yeah, I know what you are going to say. "You call this cozy and spacious??"

Wait a minute. I shot this man (with a camera, of course) using a 200 mm lens. Standing apart this far, I can appear like aiming on the whole landscape, I expected. He wouldn't notice. However, after a couple of shots, as I turned around, I heard him calling. I turned back around. He was stretching his arm forward with his palm opened upwards. He shook his glass and pointed into it. Oh, no! Here's my tragedy in Tuyoq Village going to repeat itself, I shuddered. I shook my head and quicken my steps away from him, towards the side of the park that faced Istiklal Caddesi where a policeman was standing. When I turned around, this man was nowhere to be seen. Gone.

Hence, I continued taking pictures with highest zeal. Autumn leaves!! Autumn leaves!! It's not full autumn yet, but it has been centuries ago since I last framed up maple leaves of autumn.

How can I not fall in love with Turkey? No matter who did it, he/she/they, came up with the idea, took the time, and made the effort, to cover a tree with colorful woolen patches like this. On the picture on the right you can see a red fruit made of wool. This is just a close up of one. There were many wool fruits hanging in the tree, in various colors. You can see a glimpse of them in the picture on the left.

This the street along the other side of the park.

According to Rough Guides Turkey, there's a parade at 3:00 PM near the bus terminal. After thinking real hard, I decided to miss it but continue soaking the life of Istanbul in other parts. Are you coming along?

Posted by automidori 18:13 Archived in Turkey Tagged turkey istanbul taksim hop_on_hop_off_bus rough_guides viator

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