Çünkü Burası Japonya (1/3) – Kamakura

Özellikle Japonların Sakura dediği Kiraz ağaçlarının açma mesvimine denk getirdiğimiz Japonya seyahatimizin ilk günü 12 yıldır Japonya’da yaşayan Amerikalı rehberimiz Nemo’nun uyarısı ile başladı: “Bu hafta boyunca Japonya hakkında çok sorunuz olacağına eminim; sorularınızı elimden geldiğince cevaplamaya çalışacağım ama bazı soruların tek bir cevabı olacak: Çünkü, Burası Japonya.” Continue reading Çünkü Burası Japonya (1/3) – Kamakura

Shalimar The Clown, Salman Rushdie

As we reached the end, satisfied, having sated our (intellectual and culinary) hunger, I felt a little uneasy because the whole night we had been discussing India and Pakistan and on the next table were an expat couple (their timidity signaling a preliminary stage of their dating) one American born Indian (an ABCD) the other asian/oriental. If they end up reading this post I’d like to apologise to them, but they can rest assured that we had the best intentions in the world. And I do not mean it as in the proverb which seems to sum up one of the morals of Shalimar The Clown, “the road to hell is paved with the cobblestones of best intentions”. Continue reading Shalimar The Clown, Salman Rushdie

Bombay and Istanbul

Eminönü has been the shopping district of Istanbul since the Byzantine times which makes it the busiest part of the city for the last 1500 years. My father and I would start in the Mısır Çarşısı (The Spice Market) and look at the birds, dogs and cats, fish, spices and teas, monkeys, cheese and sausages, hamsters, dried fruit and nuts. We’d have lunch in Pandeli which brings back images of aubergine and tender meat, and elderly waiters with pristine white shirts. And finally we’d walk up the street towards Suleymaniye, the most magnificent of the mosques in the city. I remember my father buying me toys and trinkets from the little shops in tiny and crowded streets: balloons, Chinese toys made from cheap plastic, a small radio, a green ring connected to a small rubber ball hidden in the palm used to spray water to the face of the unsuspecting onlookers. Continue reading Bombay and Istanbul

Aparna Weds Pratap

They wore red uniforms with flat hats, and around them were a couple of guys carrying huge lanterns. When everyone was ready, we started the march to the wedding area. We probably took 45 minutes for a distance of 2 kilometers because we stopped every few minutes and danced to the tunes of the band. We were joined by local kids on the way who pointed at me, an obvious foreigner in indian clothing, gaped and giggled. Continue reading Aparna Weds Pratap