Nobody parties like the Turks.

I learned this on my first visit to Istanbul, when I sat outside the Blue Mosque at 4 am drinking a cold beer and soaking in the scene. I’d just flown 6,000 miles and had a head full of nervous energy that I wanted to tame down a mite.

Half the people outside the mosque were praying, the other half were drinking beer and chatting amongst themselves. I had asked the shopkeep at the nearby quick mart if drinking in public was permitted and he replied yes, and looked at me as though I was crazy. I explained to him that I was from a very conservative section of America where drinking in public can result in arrest. He said not to worry. The enlightened Muslims of Istanbul drink where and when they want without fear of conservatives attempting to ruin everybody’s good times.

There is no Turkish TABC.

If they care to do so, the bars stay open all night long. Plenty care to do so.

In a later post I’ll discuss the topless beaches of Izmir.

Raindrop Turkish House/Raindrop Turkish Cultural Center is hosting a food and craft festival on December 1st from 11am to 7pm. Expect foods from the 7 regions of Turkey, live Turkish music and plenty folk art to purchase before the big holiday rush. As you probably know Kris Kringle was a Turk so expect plenty Christmas-y goods with a Turkish slant.

I’m praying that this festival will offer hamsi, perhaps the single greatest fish of the seas.

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