Ramadan at the Mall

They say Ramadan opens with a rolling worldwide cannonade: each locality keeps its own cannon, which its top dignitary fires off, ushering in the holy month with a bang. If the Turkish city of Bursa observes this custom, I missed it. Instead, I recognized that Ramadan was close at hand when the Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen [Read More...]

Turkey: Where Stray Cats Strut

Somewhere in the Hagia Sophia, directly under the bombsights of the six-winged angels soaring across the east pendentives, lives a cat. I saw him when I visited this past April Fools’ Day. Unimpressed equally by the mosaics and the Arabic calligraphy spelling out God’s names on roundels, he looked interested only in napping. For this, [Read More...]

Running in Bursa

It would be nice to report that I begin every morning with a four-mile run, but it wouldn’t be true. Per immemorial custom, I begin it with a cigarette. Then I rifle my pockets for spare lira and stumble downstairs and across the street to the local convenience store for an ekmek, which I consume [Read More...]