Upon the just and unjust fella;
But mostly on the just, because
The unjust has the just's umbrella.
Beloved Wife and Goat headed off to Istanbul for the UAE National Day long weekend. Despite dire warnings from the Authorities that over-decorating cars and engaging in impromptu parades would be regarded with a very dim view, it was generally considered over at the Crumbling Villa that simply avoiding the mayhem was a more acceptable option.
The Goat hopes that everyone enjoyed the UAE's 41st birthday celebrations.
The wonderful thing that is the internet revealed that going away for the weekend was also an excellent choice for anyone who didn't fancy experiencing torrential downpours and the flooding that followed. Facebook was briefly full of photo stories of blocked drains, flooded houses, surfing in the streets. Yes, really: there was a video of a Toyota Land Cruiser driving down the road with someone water-skiing on a surfboard behind. The Crumbling Villa remains mercifully waterproof, except for one small area in the bathroom that the landlord has failed to fix for over two years and counting.
Not that escaping to Istanbul involved an escape from wet weather. It always rains in Istanbul when the Goat visits. At least because wet weather is more common in Turkey, the infrastructure is better able to cope with a deluge than the UAE where rain is regular but very rare.
The Goat took his waterproof motorbike jacket and a flat cap, and spendthrift Beloved Wife lashed out around Dh5 on an umbrella. Most of the walking was timed to miss the showers, and when it rained, there were indoor things to do.
It does seem bizarre to think that one sunny morning, for the rain wasn't constant, Goat and Beloved Wife hid in the Cistern, an underground water tank with no sunlight and constant drips from the vaulted roof. The "No Big Cameras or Tripods Without Paying an Additional Fee" was not enforced, and the Goat's gorilla pod was great for wrapping around handrails during long-exposure shots.
|The nave of Hagia Sofiya: Part church, part mosque, part museum|
|Madonna and Child, Chora Museum|
Istanbul's Grand Bazaar and Egyptian Bazaar were both open, and extremely crowded owing to the wet weather. Beloved Wife engaged in Christmas shopping, and also compared rug prices with what had been quoted elsewhere. One of her colleagues has worked as a rugmonger in Istanbul, and that was the shop that offered the best value by an order of magnitude. Guess what the Crumbling Villa household got for Christmas.
|Meershaum pipes in the Egyptian Bazaar|
|Lights for sale in the Grand Bazaar|
|Neither hide nor hair in Istanbul|