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Letters from Istanbul – Part II

Letters from Istanbul – Part II

Hey all,

I’ve caught a head cold so I”m not really into making this story pretty right now….Istanbul is still awesome.  The kindred connection between Istanbul and NY continues as I meet more and more Turk’s and Istanbulers.  I think it also shares a similarity in that its probably a nice place to visit, but to live long term, its probably not so nice.
Yesterday, I went to the Prince’s Islands which is this chain of islands in the Sea of Marmara.  I went with a group of people I wasn’t really familiar with, but in the end it happened that the group widdled down to 3 of us.  There was Reme, 18, from Hamburg and Marwon, 25, from Australia.   All 3 of us were website developers, vegetarian, and had an ongoing photo series of handstands around the world.  Twas quite weird.  However, Marwon was an atheist, and Reme was on the way to being one.  So, phew, we weren’t complete doppelgangers.
We found out that there was a free whirling dervish performance, so our plan was to go to one of the 2 peaks of the island and make it back for the performance at 4.  However, after we finished snapping handstand photos at the 1st peak, we biked down.  On the way, Reme’s bike basically fell apart, kind of like the coyote and the road runner, when the coyote builds a contraption to fly off a cliff and piece by piece just drops away and the coyote pauses, blinks, and then gravity sets in. Yes, it was kind of comical despite its annoyingness.
There was no way we would make it back to the developed portion of the island to make it back in time for the performance  So now we had more time to stay on the undeveloped part and hiked up to the other peak where there is the 2nd largest wooden building in the world: an abandoned WWII-era orphanage.
This massive dilapidated structure sits at the top of the hill with nothing other than trees and wild horses roaming the steep green hills.  I pictured this orphanage in some black and white hitchcock film during a stormy night.
Marwon is a bit crazy and thought it was a good idea to hop the fence and get a closer look at the building.  While Reme debated hopping, I stayed put and watched for security.  Within a few minutes, the guard dogs caught Marwon’s scent.  Earlier we had seen a guard dog, but on a chain leash.  When the barking started, I could clearly see, these dogs were not chained.  Marwon raced back, and reverse-hopped the fence, but sliced his hand open in the process.  Not too bad, but the fence was one big tetanus playground, so he’ll have fun finding a doctor today for his booster.
We split immediately and didn’t wait to find out if the dogs were all bark and no bite.  So we dashed down and around the hill the orphanage sat on top of.  After we got a good distance we just wandered along the incline through the trees back around to the front where we parked our bikes and happened to find a damn near pristine horse mandible and femur.  reme posed for a photo op with the horse mandible next to his own.
We made it back in time for the 2nd to last ferry back.  Only, both this and the last one were cancelled.  Finally, we figured out that there was a private operator running one last one back to the mainland.  It was chaos and confusion to find out where it was and how to buy tickets, but we figured it out and made it back in time for saturday night party.
Fyi, I arrive in India on the 26th.  Love you all,
Pete
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