Quiet please, I'm thinking.
It’s been a while since I’ve been up so early for no apparent reason, but then I did have a skinful yesterday. It’s also been a while since I’ve had a skinful so I had forgotten that I keep rather odd hours when inebriated. Not to worry, St. Patrick’s Day approaches and I have found the perfect spot to celebrate it, if I find myself so inclined, which I probably will. It’s not the first time I’ve been to Istanbul’s James Joyce though it is the first time I have spent a decent amount of time there.
I was in search of the original Viktor Levy’s, which I was reliably informed was in the Taksim area, when it occurred to me that having a pint of black might be a good idea. When is a pint of black a bad idea? I mean, come on. I had wandered about and found the original Mr Levy’s was no more, the building being renovated and about to re-launch as some hotel (what a shame). I had also just spotted, for the first time in my life, a miniature Hitler statue for sale. That’s a lot of excitement for one day when you factor in the miles of stairs I’d had to climb, the escalators being mostly out in the Sishane metro station, and my hour of learning Turkish which always wears me out. Plus, my class for the evening cancelled so why shouldn’t I indulge?
Anyhoo, there I was, wandering around like a mad eejit when, lo and behold, I walked right by the street where the James Joyce resides. In fairness, I was looking for a specific tea garden in that area that often eludes me and this city is awash with chai, the same cannot be said of Guinness. Quick as a flash I was down the street and through the door, that ancient Irish tune playing in my head, ‘I’ll only have the one’. I must have been so fast I left my rational mind behind me because in no time at all I was on my third pint and entertaining the staff, and myself, or both, whatever. Hilarity ensued though I don’t think my wife was too pleased when she joined me later and I was half cut. Sorry, wifey.
Where was I going with this post?
Two of my buddies will be here in two weeks so I suppose I’ve at least saved us the wasted journey to Taksim’s Viktor Levy’s. That’ll mean a trip to Kadikoy. Plus I know where to get a decent pint, always good to know. The question now is do I go back to purchase Hitler’s loaf? I probably will.
So, yesterday I learned that turtles are common enough in rural Turkey. These guys have everything, the Turks I mean, including snakes which stupid St. Patrick had to go and banish from the old Emerald Isle. Not that it matters that much, we don’t have poisonous spiders, killer bees or carnivorous plants either. But we do have Guinness.
Back to the turtles. These little fellas just plod around, strutting their stuff at a relaxed pace, sticking it to the Man in their own inimitable way. I’ve decided I want one. What could be cooler than having your very own shell-encrusted reptile?
Further to the above I popped down to the local stream, everyone should have one, to have a ganders and sure enough spotted a couple of little beauts. I couldn’t quite bring myself to nab one though, not least because three of the four were water turtles who made good their escape once I arrived – they may be slow on land but not in the drink, that being their natural abode. It didn’t seem fair to cart one away from the idyllic setting of dangerously low water level (banks duly adorned with empty beers cans), styrofoam and someone’s old armchair. Seriously, who goes to a beautiful nature spot and thinks, ‘this needs my old, battered, falling-to-pieces recliner’. Jerks!
One must marvel at turtles though. Up close and personal they’re not up to a whole lot; the don’t have sharp teeth (none at all that I could spot), they’re not exactly fast unless in water and, other than the shell, they have little by way of protection. In fairness though that shell is pretty impressive.
In summary, a whole piece on turtles, short as you like, providing the perfect platform for faecal jokes/references and not one until now. Unless, of course you count the title.
Until next time.