Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Unattractive Legs

We wandered through the commercial old town areas of Trabzon this morning. Each short narrow street had its own specialty shops: lumber, socks, metal working, bras, shoes, spices and on and on. As this was definitely not a tourist area, no one was trying to drag us into their stores. Instead we got a friendly "hello" from many of those we passed. Doug probably would have made many new friends if shy me hadn't been along. Since I was too shy to take pictures of people, I wasn't able to get any photos of the shops either.

Most of the buildings we see (even the ones which look to be a thousand years old - they don't appear to age well) have poured concrete floors and frames, with walls of brick-like cinder blocks covered with stucco. Even though the building materials crumble easily in the weather and look run down, nearly all are kept brightly painted.

We found remnants of the old city walls here and there. Any buildings adjacent to the city wall simply use it as their fourth wall. How practical. Kind of like their approach to Islam. Our tour guide yesterday told us that even though 99 percent of the population is Muslim, well over half are Decaf Muslim. He said the only ones who pray five times a day are those with too much free time and those approaching the end. Old people, he said, want to arrange their rapidly approaching next step. This may be a secular country with a liberal outlook, so why were Doug and I the only ones in the city wearing shorts? Maybe all Turks have ugly knees...

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