Friday, 7 November 2014

Rosy-Fingered Dawn (But No Bloody Lock on the Door) in Istanbul

We're in a good mood today, so we'll start with some ancient Greek poetry, to get the weekend off to a healthy start.
ὣς τότε μὲν πρόπαν ἦμαρ ἐς ἠέλιον καταδύνταἥμεθα δαινύμενοι κρέα τ᾽ ἄσπετα καὶ μέθυ ἡδύ:
ἦμος δ᾽ ἠέλιος κατέδυ καὶ ἐπὶ κνέφας ἦλθε,
δὴ τότε κοιμήθημεν ἐπὶ ῥηγμῖνι θαλάσσης.560ἦμος δ᾽ ἠριγένεια φάνη ῥοδοδάκτυλος Ἠώς,
δὴ τότ᾽ ἐγὼν ἑτάροισιν ἐποτρύνας ἐκέλευσααὐτούς τ᾽ ἀμβαίνειν ἀνά τε πρυμνήσια λῦσαι:
οἱ δ᾽ αἶψ᾽ εἴσβαινον καὶ ἐπὶ κληῖσι καθῖζον,
ἑξῆς δ᾽ ἑζόμενοι πολιὴν ἅλα τύπτον ἐρετμοῖς.565ἔνθεν δὲ προτέρω πλέομεν ἀκαχήμενοι ἦτορ,
ἄσμενοι ἐκ θανάτοιοφίλους ὀλέσαντες ἑταίρους. 

"So, then, all day long till set of sun we sat feasting on abundant flesh and sweet wine; but when the sun set and darkness came on, then we lay down to rest on the shore of the sea. [560] And as soon as early Dawn appeared, the rosy-fingered, I roused my comrades, and bade them themselves to embark and to loose the stern cables. So they went on board straightway and sat down upon the benches, and sitting well in order smote the grey sea with their oars. [565] Thence we sailed on, grieved at heart, glad to have escaped death, though we had lost our dear comrades."
(Homer, The Odyssey. Citation from, Hom. Od. 9.536.)

Istanbul at dawn. Image from theguideistanbul.

When embarking on our semi-recent Greek adventure, we decided to travel to Athens via Istanbul, because Istanbul is a historic city, and we yearned to tread Turkish soil, if only for four hours while waiting for our connecting flight.*
As we approached Istanbul Dawn, believe it or not, appeared; the rosy-fingered. We're not prone to sentimentality at the Counsel, but it did look pretty damn fabulous (in the original sense).  Once arrived at the airport, having consumed coffee, we made the following notes:**
Istanbul at crack of dawn 
No toilet paper, no bloody lock on the door. No paper towels, obvs. Great soap & water (well, there was some). Lovely pastry and coffee. Aurora, rosy-fingered dawn. 
A couple of hours later we added:
Second one has lock and bog roll. Staff at Starbucks totally fucking lovely. Got a compliment on one's hair!*** Can't photograph sink.
* It was a lot bloody cheaper that way.
** We also found a scribble in our notebook saying that the soap at the Athens Archaeological Museum smelled like roses. Unfortunately we forgot to mention this in our review.
*** Regular readers may remember that time when CAITLIN MORAN SAID SHE LIKED OUR HAIR.

Istanbul, crack of dawn.
The lock didn't bloody work. 

The seat was cracked and the whole place had a deplorable smell.

At least there was a decent coat hook.
We are strident opponents, at the Privy Counsel, of pictures of food on the internet.
However, we made an exception in the case of this coffee and Turkish pastry,
which we consumed at Istanbul airport. The pastry had poppy seeds, which was the closest thing
we could get to opium at the time, on it.

Because we're quite into our melodramatic country songs at the moment, here's one that we like to think is vaguely toilet paper-related. (Or, if you're that way inclined, listen to the Odyssey sung in the original, with a lyre, or similar, here. Seriously, give it a go - it sounds well fucked up.)

Festive video - The Band Perry, Chainsaw

Related Reading
All our posts from Greece:
Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts, But Totally Trust the Toilet Attendant

If you should crave more learned Greek ramblings, get them here:
A Calamitous and Inflammatory Blend of Toilet Paper and History

If you should crave a useful tip on learning Greek, get one from Shewee Fiend Friend here:
"Oh for Shame, How the Mortals Put the Blame on Us Gods" - We Indulge in Melodrama

More pictures of airport toilets:

A really nice soap that smells like roses:
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, But Here's a Picture of a Lovely Soap

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