December 14th, 2008 – by: sayohat
Getting a haircut in Üsküdar
Because of the incredibly long day and a rather late night, we all slept pretty late on Sunday. Aydın and Ayhan prepared a traditional Turkish brunch for us all and we enjoyed a different version of menemen, more fresh olives, cheese, jam and halva. Ayhan, İsmail and I then ventured out to Ayhan's favorite barber for haircuts. It should be noted that I hadn't had so much as a trim since the beginning of September so I was well overdue for some cleaning up, as they all seemed to indicate by including this in the itinerary. I was the first in the chair, and it took awhile for the barber to make my mophead look decent after all it had been through. The barber used scissors first but then used a razor to trim the edges and a trimmer. He washed my hair under the sink and then splashed some cologne on my hand and I was done.
The Bosphorus (from a moving bus)
I felt like I'd lost a couple pounds of hair and I felt good, and feel more comfortable walking around in a country where having good looking hair is important.
The afternoon had already arrived and Ayhan had planned to meet his girlfriend so we all took a bus to Mecidiyeköy and met Zehra at the Profilo shopping center. We enjoyed French press coffees at a jungle-themed restaurant and then İsmail and I said goodbye to Ayhan and Zehra and tried to make it to Çamlica for the sunset. Unfortunately we didn't make it on time but still the view from the top of the hill was magnificent and another perfect way to end the weekend. İsmail and I bought some simit and two cups of sahlep
(hot goat's milk with orchid root and cinnamon) and watched the sparkling lights of the European side of the city.
At the jungle restaurant
It was cool but comfortable and very relaxing. On our way back we stopped at a cafe to pick up some çiğköfte
(raw pastrami mıxed with spices)
and tried a few samples in the store. I was at first a little worried about the raw meat factor, but İsmail was explaining that the meat was actually cured so I tasted it and it was actually good. We stopped at the Carrefour supermarket to get fish, vegetables, yogurt and fruit and went back to İsmail's. He cooked a delicious white fish with some veggies. We talked quite late into the night about a lot of deep subjects and it was like a late-night college conversation with a friend. And as I have said before it was a great ending to a great weekend and my first in a new country.