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Just for Fun

Istanbul, flags and nationalism

In Istanbul, there are flags everywhere. Some extraordinarily large ones are found on the shores of the Bosphorus, several adorn official buildings, many shops and restaurants display them, and vendors hawk them on street corners, and all this on a normal day, not a national holiday of any sort. It

Turkey, of words and language

I love language. I feel it is a window into local civilizations. So I’m constantly gravitating towards learning phrases. Occasionally enthusiasm strikes and I dive into a new language entirely. Usually it does not sustain itself much and I end up with a lot of vocabulary, and several dozens of

Antiquity in Turkey, June last week

As someone born in Delhi, I am accustomed to walking past very old monuments. Sadly, I’m also accustomed to thinking that they will perforce be dilapidated, disrespected, and generally ignored.  So Istanbul is a pleasant surprise. Hagia Sophia for example (Aya Sophia), the now-museum, once-mosque-and-once-church, the awe-inspiring edifice I walked past