The Mother of All Buildings

The Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofia) has survived so much history that it seems impossible for more stories to be added to her walls. But, she can support it all. One of my favorites, this is possibly the greatest building ever built.

Heavenward illumination

Come visit Istanbul and the Hagia Sophia!

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Meze, Music, and Smoke – Istanbulli Night

I came to Istanbul to see friends and to eat. Then so much more happened. Like the Hagia Sofia, this city of living myth and carpets wrapped her mighty magic embrace… and now, my heart is falling hard. When I told this to my friend, she said, “Good. I’m glad that you are leaving your heart here… then you’ll come back for it.”

Entertain the night. Welcome to Istanbul!

 

 

 

 

Slurping Noodles in Singapore

An easy flight from Dhaka and you are suddenly in Singapore (so clean that I was smitten but not bitten). The soup dish called “laksa” is delicious cheap food (around $4)… and not just because Tony Bourdain said so! Take the number 14 bus to check another thing off the bucket list.

Steamed fishcake in banana leaf and world famous laksa.
Famous restaurant 328.

Dogs of Dhaka

Dhaka is famous for the number of people who live here. But, for every four people, there must be a dog… there are 15 million people in Dhaka. There is a thin, lanky, dun-colored dog “breed” that dominates the street scenes here. If you see a recognizable breed, then you will most likely see a dog walker attached to it. Every day I see dogs lying in the streets, lopping down the streets, using speed bumps as pillows, and reading canine news (sniffing). One night I saw a small white fluffy dog tiptoeing along beside a rickshaw… it was being walked from the rickshaw. So very Dhaka! Be warned, it is hard not to adopt a dog when you come here!

Puppy for sale.

New Prints on the Block

Designing your own tablecloth (or material for any use) is another fun thing to do in Dhaka.

Spray painting design

You pick out the block pattern from giant pattern books, choose the cloth (dyed or untreated), choose the colors and pattern. You can even have your own blocks designed if you want something specific put on the cloth. If you don’t want block printed designs, you can get a spray painted design.

Hand applied paints.

An eight foot long tablecloth costs around 3,000 Taka ($33). Get it while you’re here!

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Under Water Sushi

Dinner in Dhaka usually does not cost 5,000 Taka ($60) but there are a few places that will set you back thousands…

Sushi rolls and pinwheel rolls

Wasabi at Bellagio, House 4C, Rd 71, Gulshan Avenue, is one of them. The Bellagio building houses Wasabi, a sushi restaurant with a liquor license, on the ground floor. If you sit in the bar, you can sit under a fountain of water as it gushes over the curved glass ceiling. Upstairs is a French restaurant called Le Souffle. That’s where the food gets pricy. The chef is imported from France via Bangkok (much like the style of cooking and the ingredients) and the food is good if you want fancy French portions. Bread and desserts are well done there. It is also the place with the red fancy toilet that I mentioned in another posting. The third floor of Bellagio is destined to be another fancy restaurant. All in all, the Bellagio restaurants are the kind that expats like… so much so that I had three (count ’em) events there in one week.

A fountain runs over it