Stayed up too late, got up too late. But what a day! I rode trams and ferries, had lunch in Asia, and was back in Europe in time for the evening news.

My right wheel is much better, thanks. I received a disturbing email from William A. Sibley this morning raising the possibility that I had a streptococcus infection in my foot. He described this as a “worst case,” which I took to mean it could turn me into Terry Fox or a lady.

Luckily, this being a Third World country, I was able to buy penicillin over the counter. Probably not the best practice, public-health-wise, but I don’t really know the ins and outs of that debate.

Back to touristin’. I have heard that a Turkish shave is worth experiencing once. My understanding is that they use fire to remove ear hair. Somebody Google this shit.

This is one thing I like about the Turks — they haven’t set up a mommy state to make sure you’re tucked in safely at night. There is a boilerplate expectation that you don’t need protection from the government. When you get on or off a ferry, you have a choice: You can walk on the rickety gangway or you can long-jump, Carl Lewis-style, from the dock to the boat. When there’s no sidewalk, you can press yourself against a building to let a car or tram get by, or you can commit suicide. Nobody cares. There is no NTSB or OSHA or court to appeal to. It is expected that you will act in your self-interest.

An unprepossessing view of the Topkapi Palace, as seen on my way to Kadikoy. It is the world’s most important monument to Ottoman architecture and history. Its collections of porcelain, jewels, calligraphy and armor have no rival. I dread spending many hours there but promise to make a Cliffs Notes visit.

My first time in Asia. I don’t feel any different, but I was hungry an hour later. Ba-da-bump!

A little poorer on this side, far less English spoken. A little more authentic, I’d say. Here you can buy things you need, like hammers and toilet seats, not just rugs and ceramics and those swirly blue evil-eye amulets. You could make an honest living here.

Beautiful ekmek. The bread here is as good as I’ve had. Don’t forget the Turks introduced croissants to the West during the siege of Vienna.

I stop for some lachmacun (lock-mah-zhoon). I watched the guy roll out the dough, press the meat and spices into it with his bare hands, and shove it into a wood-fired oven. In seven minutes, this was the result

Cay (tea) to finish the meal. Pronounced “chai.”

This is a family-run joint. Dad (below), son and daughter. In English, I said, “Thank you, Chef” on my way out. I heard his kids seize on this to poke fun at their father as I hit the sidewalk. “Chef!” “Master chef!” It was funny. I thought he deserved the compliment.
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