What I thought was going to be my last full day in Istanbul was pretty much dedicated to taking  pictures and going to the Hamam- finally. We roamed around the city, me making Becca stop and pose to take pictures from time to time until we got to the bus stop to the Asian side.

and using my telephoto lens when I saw an interesting-looking person…

Then we took ferry ride #…?

and by the time we got to land, we knew exactly where we were going. No problems this time, we’d already done the trial run. We found the long street where the Hamam was, which was mainly a residential street. It had some interesting backdrops, so I made Becca pose,

and then we saw this crazy van so I had to take a picture for Josh, who collects them for some reason.

The whole time we were taking pictures on this street, people were coming out of their apartments to see what the white girls were doing. They were fascinated. In this shot below, there is a man’s face in the left window just staring at us, as if we’re not going to move on immediately once someone pokes their head out. It was as if he wanted to be part of the picture. Becca was so uncomfortable.

That night we went to the hamam, which was… one of the most … interesting… confusing… traumatizing experiences either of us have even had. We definitely did as the Turks do that day. If you ever want to be truly freaked out, ask me someday about the hamam. Somehow though, I feel like it was totally worth it. Let me just put it this way, I didn’t have an inch of dead skin left on my body, and afterwards we had to walk 3 miles to an ATM to get 5TL for two pair of clean underwear, and then carried our wet ones on the bus in a plastic bag.

The next morning I went to the airport for my standby flight, and didn’t make it because the flight was too full. So I had to find my way back to Becca’s apartment, only to be greeted by her with absolute shock. The next flight wasn’t for two more days, and since we were both out of money we just hung out at the apartment, finished off the cookies and chips we’d bought, watched “The Big Bang Theory”, read books, and slept. Thankfully, I caught the next flight and flew across the ocean first class again. I swear, sometimes life isn’t so bad.

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