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Lighting out for the territory nce more in the Middle East. The more I travel the more I want to travel and the longer that I am out of England the happier I am. At present in Iraq and having a wonderful time. really fallen in love with the country and the people. Very glad I came and

Sun 5th Oct - Istanbul

TURKEY | Monday, 6 October 2008 | Views [936]

Had free breakfast on the roof terrace and it was shaping up to be very hot but an hour later Bang! pouring rain and temp dropped like a concubine in a sack into the Bosphorous. So cheered up enormously. Nigel and Jeanne lent me their laptop, first time I have used one - weird and I lent Nigel the Alan Furst I found on the shelf. decided as so comnfortable physically would nip up here to 3 lira internet cafe and update blog bigtime.

This morning Calvin from Singapore in my dorm told me how he survived the tsunami in Phuket. he says that when they saw the wall of water on the horizon all the  people froze, time stopped until one man called Run! and they broke in all directions. Calvin headed for a 15 storey building and survived but he saw many dead people. At this point he became tearful and excused himself to go downstairs.

Wandered over to the waterpipe again wanting rice pud but they were fresh out and had to have Baklava. Not at all like in England - it arrived hot, in a pool of chocolate sauce and sprinkled with walnuts. I love that place.

Up Divan Yolu to see Constantine's banded column which is very tall, very old and completely covered in scaffolding. Happened on the tomb of Sultan Mehemet 11 which did nicely instead. It is set in a graveyard and as the wind wwas strong, walnuts were falling off the trees. A Thai lady gave me one - a walnut nourished with the bones of long gone Pashas. The tomb is inside a round hall - what is it with domes? - and shaped like a tent and covered with green fabric and there are lots more inside including one tiny sad one of a child, couldn't ascertain boy or girl. The doorman had given me a boiled sweet, asked if I was Muslim (the headscarf), expressed his hope of my conversion, gave me a lovely piece of calligraphy of the word Allah and another sweet and was generally very friendly. When I left I saw a walnut on the path, crept back, told him to open his hand and dropped the walnut in it. He threw back his head and roared with delighted laughter at the gift. It made me feel purely happy. Is there a word for people tourist as opposed to sights tourist?

Emailed the address of Big Apple to Fergus and delighted when he and his Triumph Bonneville turned up this afternoon. Glasgow to Katmandu - for charity - for fun too - like Jon. Good night on the terrace in a gale with him, Jon, Jeff and Else from Belgium, Shelley from NZ. Bed betimes.

Tags: rain, tsunami

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