Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 167 - The Spice Bazaar and Istanbul Modern (bienniel)

My last full day in Istanbul would be relaxed since I didn't have much else I deemed necessary to see or do. It would be more of an errand day as I prepared to leave to Prague the next morning.

I headed to the Spice Market after breakfast to look for some Salep, which is a type of sweet Turkish drink typically served in the Winter. It is made of ground Orchids, milk, water, and cinnamon. Once prepared, the drink is warm and thick, sort of like a dessert. My sister wanted me to bring some home for her, so I found some authentic Salep to bring home for her. Hopefully it passes through customs without any problems since it could easily resemble drugs to an ordinary officer.

Afterwards, I headed to Modern Istanbul, which is a modern art museum in the city. Kerim recommended I visit since they currently had their biennial exhibition of art. This time around, the exhibits focused on and were inspired by the work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and there were major themes including history, identity, gun violence, the AIDS movement, and passports, among other things. The artists who were showcased included both local and international artists. Much of it was a little difficult to understand, and there were tour guides who spoke in Turkish, so I couldn't listen in to get a better understanding.

I spent the rest of the night walking around Taksim Square, before heading back to Kerim's place, where I met some of his friends and we drank wine and gin and tonics until midnight. Turkey has been incredible. Definitely another favorite country. There is so much history here, along with unbelievable natural sites to visit. I recommend it to anyone and everyone!

Modern Istanbul - A Turkish military health report diagnosing a soldier with "homosexuality" and discharging him due to his "disease." It's sad to see the Turkish government's position and beliefs on what homosexuality is.

Modern Istanbul - "Lesbian Beds"

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