Hi, I’m blogging from my iPhone again. I’m currently writing this from inside the Blue Mosque in Istanbul! When I say breathtaking, I really don’t even begin to describe it. This is literally the most beautiful mosque I have ever been to. The intricacy of its arches, its lines, its patterns, the staggering height and detail of its columns, the richness of its colors and carpets and calligraphy, the languages, races, and nationalities of its current visitors can move you to tears.
I somehow found my way here using the ever glorious no-English-whatsoever Turkish public transit. As we were approaching the Sultanahmet stop, I saw the top of the mosque from afar and I was already overwhelmed. It was a vision I’m only used to seeing in textbooks and Tumblr pictures. I couldn’t believe I was actually there. I kind of wish I had 4square now… It’s not everyday you can check into one of the most famous mosques in the world.
I made a new travel companion on my way over here. You see, when I said I was overwhelmed by the sight of the mosque, I mean I was so overwhlemed that I just kept staring at it as the tramway doors opened and closed and I found myself on my way to the next stop (noooo!) Luckily, a man at that stop was concerned about my confusion despite our language barrier and cared enough to make sure I knew exactly how to get back.
When I did get back to the stop, I hopped onto the platform only to be greeted by a very charming young man, who somehow knew I wasn’t really a Turk (come on! My Turkish friend Tugba says I can pass for one!) He opened up a conversation with me and volunteered to show me how to get to the Blue Mosque, so we walked there together all the while engaging in a very friendly conversation. He’s the one that took the picture of me in front of the mosque that you see below. He said, “Help around here is free. Just as long as you visit my shop.”
Yes, Amani, this really happened.
The low temperature and exhaustion are now starting to hit me. I didn’t exchange enough money into Turkish currency (because when I tried to, the currency exchange clerk tried to scam me out of $30! I caught him and he tried to bribe me out of not telling his supervisor, but I refused and told his supervisor anyway, who didn’t really seem to care about my yelling huffing mess, so I probably should’ve just taken the money) so now I’m starving myself so that I can have enough money to get back to the metro station.
Whatever, at least I’m consoled by the magnificent mosque I’m sitting in right now. It was definitely worth it.