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This week was eventful – I got sick (and then got better!), played tourist, almost adopted a tiny kitty, sweated a lot thanks to the humidity that’s been hanging around recently, and had my last full week of class at Boğaziçi Üniversitesi. Soon we will head out on excursion week and travel down the Aegean coast – can’t wait!

– a Starbucks barista’s interpretation of ‘Katie’ and ‘Alex’. Mine read ‘Keydi’, which is Turkish for ‘cat’. Alex got ‘Elex’, which is impressive considering that the Turkish alphabet doesn’t have ‘x’ in it. 

– Taksim by day. Only slightly less crowded than it is at night.

– pretty flowers outside the Chora church.

– rows and rows of patterned tiles.

– the saddest, cutest, tiniest kitten I have seen in Istanbul thus far. It was meowing loudly and one of its eyes was swollen shut. I am regretting not taking it back to the Superdorm with me and nursing it back to health. I mean, look at that face! I think Istanbul might be turning me into a cat person. Maybe. 

– window into the tomb of Sultan Mehmed the conqueror.

– this reminded me of the movie ‘The Secret Garden’. Solid childhood movie.

– cool vintage postcards from an antique shop in Kadiköy. 

– mosques always have really great squishy carpet in them, probably because you have to take your shoes off to go inside. I thought the carpet in the Fatih Camii was particularly beautiful. 

– POMEGRANATE SIRMA. I thought the lemon stuff was good, but this stuff is the Holy Grail.

– sunset from the ferry on the way back from Kadiköy.

– I’ve shown pictures of cemeteries here before, but I can’t get over how cool they are. I love the long, narrow gravestones and particularly loved how pristinely white each one was in this cemetery. 

– drinking my signature Caribou Coffee drink (berry white mocha cooler!) at a Caribou in a mall in Istanbul. Yes, you read that right. They have Caribou in Istanbul. 

– Istanbul essentials: Rick Steve’s Istanbul (really great – it even tells you what buses to take to get to major sites), a Turkish pocket dictionary (super helpful, my Turkish sucks), hand sanitizer, a bus pass (which you can use on not only buses but also trams, the metro, ferries…), a watch, and an nazar bracelet for protection from the evil eye.