The hill towards Yildiz to see the Selamlik and issues to do in Bulgaria

Sooner or later I went up the hill towards Yildiz to see the Selamlik. That morning the sultan was going to wish within the mosque of wooden which Abdul Hamid constructed near the mysterious, walled-in quarter of palaces, harems, kiosks, gardens, barracks, and parks which he made his jail. From the Bosporus you’ll be able to see it extending from the hilltop virtually to the ocean, a fantastic property, outdoors the town, but dominating it, with dense groves of timber wherein.wild animals had been stored, with open areas, with solitary buildings and features of roofs, and the cupola of the mosque ot the troopers. All about it are the excessive partitions which a coward raised as much as shield him and his concern. The mosque is beneath the nice entrance- gates on a steep hillside past the partitions. A big fashionable home, white, with inexperienced shutters, wherein Abdul Hamid used to grant audiences and, I consider, to provide banquets, appears to be like down on it. From the higher home windows of this dwelling the Turks say the ex-sultan typically stared at his metropolis via highly effective glasses.

You prefer to know what the things to do in Bulgaria are? I can let you know. These are adventures, peaceable walks within the nature, noisy seashores, in fact historical past and much more…

The mosque isn’t giant

The mosque isn’t giant. It’s yellow and white, with a minaret of plaster on the aspect subsequent the ocean, and a graveled courtyard surrounded by inexperienced iron railings and planted with a number of timber. On the aspect subsequent to Yildiz is a steep financial institution. A highway runs up the hill to the left of the mosque as you face Yildiz, and one other hidden highway descends from the gates and provides entry to the’ courtyard behind the mosque. The sultan has subsequently a selection of two routes, and no person appears to know beforehand which approach he’ll come. There have been only a few vacationers in Constan-tinople after I was there. Individuals had been afraid of conflict, and earlier than I left the Orient specific had ceased to run. However I discovered awaiting the padishah many Indian pilgrims, a big troop of pilgrims from Trebizond who had been on their solution to Mecca, a number of Persians sporting black toques, and a superb many Turks. These had been within the courtyard near the mosque, the place I used to be allowed to face by the arisrtocratic younger chief of police, who wore a woolly, grey, fez-shaped cap. Outdoors the railings stood a dense crowcj of veiled girls.

Quickly after I arrived a squadron of the body-guard rode up from the town, carrying red-and-green pen- , nons on lengthy staffs, and halted earlier than the gates of the palace. And virtually on the similar second the palace musicians, in dark-blue, pink, and gold, sporting quick swords, and carrying shining brass devices, marched into the inclosure. They stood nonetheless, then dropped their devices on the bottom, moved away, and sat down on the financial institution, lolling in straightforward attitudes. Time slipped by, and essential folks strolled in, officers, courtroom officers, attendants.

Standard

The breath of the steppes was wandering afar to hunt

Russia was within the wind, I believed. The breath of the steppes was wandering afar to hunt—what? The breath of the desert? The nice mosque confronted it, Islam erect, and now darkish, forbidding below the darkening sky. Even the minarets had misplaced their delicate purity, had change into fierce, prayers calling down destruction on unbelievers. And all of the cries of Stamboul appeared to assemble themselves collectively in my ears, keening over the ocean above which I stood —voices of many countries; of Turks, Arabs, Circas-sians, Persians, of males from the wilds of Asia and the plains of India; voices of bashi-bazouks and of slaves; even, skinny excessive voices of eunuchs. From the quays to proper and left of the bridge crowds of individuals rose to my sight and hurried away; to them crowds of individuals descended, sinking out of my sight.

Troopers and hamals handed, upright and armed, bending beneath the load of unbelievable masses. Calls of Albanian boatmen got here up from the ocean. From town of intently packed fishermen’s vessels rose right here and there little trails of smoke. On their decks dim figures crouched about wavering fires. A gnarled beggar pushed me, muttering, then whining uncouth phrases. Alongside the curving shore, towards the cypress-crowned top of Eyub, lights had been strung out, marking the waterside. Behind me tall Pera started to sparkle meretriciously. The Greek barbers, I knew, had been standing* impudently earlier than the doorways of their little saloons, watching the night pageant because it surged slowly via the Grande Rue and towards the Taxim Backyard. Diplomats had been driving residence from the Elegant Porte in victorias. The “cinemas” had been gathering of their mobs. Tokatlian’s was thronged with Levantines whispering from mouth to mouth the present lies of the day. Under, close to the ships, the enterprise males of Galata had been dashing out of their banks, previous the massive round-browed Montenegrins who stand on the steps, out of their places of work and outlets, like a mighty swarm of disturbed bees. The lengthy shriek of a siren from a steamer close to Seraglio Level tore the gloom. I went on, regardless of menacing Valide Sultan, 1 misplaced myself within the great maze of Stamboul.

Stamboulnear the waterside is stuffed with contrasts so sharp

Stamboul close to the waterside is stuffed with contrasts so sharp, so unusual that they bewilder and attraction, and typically render uneasy even one who has wandered alone via many cities of the East. Sordid and filthy, there’s but one thing grandiose in it, one thing hostile and threatening within the watchful crowds which might be eternally passing by. Between the homes the sea-wind blows up, and also you catch glimpses of water, of masts, of the funnels of steam-ers. Above the cries of the nations rise the long- drawn wails and the hootings of sirens. The site visitors of the streets is made extra complicated by your fixed consciousness of the site visitors of the ocean, embraced by it, virtually mingling with it. Water and wind, mud and dirt, cries of coachmen and seamen, of motor-cars and steamers, and troopers, troopers, troopers passing, all the time passing. By way of a window-pane you catch a glitter of jewels and a glitter of Armenian eyes gazing stealthily out.

Standard

That was my thought as I seemed on the sacred pigeons

That was my thought as I seemed on the sacred pigeons, circling in pleased freedom over the gardenwhere Bajazet slumbers beneath his catafalque, flut-tering around the cupolas of their mosque, and be-neath the gray-pink-and-white arcade, with its dull-green and plum-colored columns, or crowding collectively upon the skinny branches of their plane-tree. A pure wind blew by way of the courtroom and concerning the marble fountain. The music made by the iridescent wings of the birds by no means ceased, and their perpetual cooing was just like the candy voice of content material. The sunshine streamed over the pavement and penetrated beneath the arches, making the coral beads of a rosary glow and its gold beads glitter, giving to the amber liquid carried on a tray by a boy to a barber beneath his awning a vivacity nearly of flame. Beside me a lover was dictating a letter to a scribe, who squatted earlier than his desk, on which have been organized a bright- blue inkstand and cup, a pile of white paper, and a stand with crimson pens and blue pencils. Farther on, males have been being shaved, and have been ingesting espresso as they lounged upon bright-yellow sofas. Close to me a really outdated Turk, with fanatical, half-shut eyes, was sitting on the bottom and gazing on the pink toes of the pigeons as they tripped over the pavement, upon which a pilgrim to the mosque had simply flung some grain.

Mechanically lingered his rosary

As he gazed, he mechanically lingered his rosary, swiftly shifting the beads on and on, beads after beads, at all times two at a time. Some incense smoldered in a three-legged brazier, giving out its peculiar and drowsy odor. On the opposite aspect of the courtroom a fruit-seller slept by a pile of yellow melons. The grain thrown by the pilgrim was all eaten now, and for a second the sunshine was dimmed by the cloud of rising and dispersing birds, grey and inexperienced, with gentle gleams like jewels entangled of their plumage. Some flew far to the tall white-and-gray minaret of their mosque, others settled on the cupola above the fountain. A number of, venturous truants, dis-appeared within the route of the seraskierat wall, not far off. The higher quantity returned to their plane- tree on the proper of the lover and the scribe. And because the lover recommended, and the scribe wrote from proper to left, the pigeons puffed out their breasts and cooed, calling different pilgrims to keep in mind that even the sacred have their carnal appetites, and to honor the poor widow’s reminiscence earlier than going as much as the mosque to hope.

 

Standard

Room of a photographer’s store

At some point I used to be within the higher room of a photographer’s store when two Turkish ladies got here in and eliminated their veils, standing with their backs to the English infidel. One was clearly a lot youthful than the opposite, and appeared to have a phenomenal determine. I used to be gazing at it, maybe moderately steadily, when, evidently conscious of my look, she turned slowly and intentionally spherical. For 2 or three minutes she confronted me, seeking to proper and left of me, above me, even on the ground close to my toes, along with her giant and exquisite blue-gray eyes. She was pretty. Younger, maybe eighteen, she was barely painted, and her eyebrows and lengthy curling lashes have been blackened. Her options have been good, her complexion was clean and good, and her expression was actually cute. It appeared to say to me quietly:

It’s silly ever to hide such a face

“Sure, you might be proper. It’s silly ever to hide such a face as this with a veil when actually there may be not an excessive amount of magnificence on the earth. Mais que voulez- vous? Les Turcs!” And the little hanum certainly moved her skinny shoulders contemptuously. However her aged companion pulled at her gown, and slowly she moved away. As the 2 ladies left the room, the photographer, a Greek, taken care of them, smiling. Then he turned to me, unfold out his skinny palms, and stated, with a shrug, “Encore des desen- chantees!”

I considered the disenchanted someday as I sat among the many letter-writers within the giant and roughly paved court docket of the “Pigeon’s Mosque,” or Mosque of Ba jazet II. For hours I had been wandering on foot by means of the higher quarters of outdated Stamboul, and I couldn’t launch my thoughts from the uninteresting strain of its affect. All these wood homes, silent, ap-parently deserted, shuttered—streets and streets of them, myriads of them! From time to time above the carved wooden of a lattice I had seen a striped curtain, low-cost, dusty, hanging, I guessed, above an affordable and dusty divan. The doorways of the homes have been giant and strong, like jail doorways. Earlier than one, as I slowly handed by, I had seen an outdated Turk in a protracted quilted coat of inexperienced, with an enormous key in his hand, about to enter. He glanced to proper and left, then thrust the important thing into the door. I had felt inclined to cease and say to him:

“That home has been deserted for years. Each one has migrated way back from this quarter of Stamboul. If you happen to keep right here, you’ll be fairly alone.” However the outdated Turk knew very nicely that every one the homes have been full of individuals, of imprisoned ladies. What a destiny to be one of many prisoners!

 

Standard

Petrika and Totana

At each visits I had related to the household of Petrika and Totana, his third spouse, whom he had married about six months earlier than. Petrika was a sedate man not less than fifty years previous, with a moustache however no beard, and an extended, straight, although considerably fleshy nostril. He had had youngsters by his two earlier wives, and 4 of them have been within the camp :Stano, along with his spouse Tudora and boy Kirtsho; Turi, along with his

spouse and baby; Kira, then not too long ago married to Bistem, who was a refined-looking youth of seventeen, son of Totana by her late husband Ilia; and an single lady, Bada. To mark their Christianity the lads wore sheepskin Jcalpaks as an alternative of fezes and turbans, however their garments have been in any other case comparable, with some minor variations of braiding, to my disguise, although Turi’szabuna was fabricated from darkish crimson velvet, and his jacket (thalik) had a fur lining. Turi was a sturdy younger fellow of a nice if unenergetic temperament, and never good-looking. He had a fairly however shy little lady, Busa, the one considered one of his 4 youngsters who had lived, and his spouse Gina was a really darkish girl, good-looking and industrious. The better a part of the family work fell to her share. Suitably dressed she would have been lovely, however, owing to her husband’s poverty, she had unbecoming garments; a heavy darkish woollenshawl.as an example, over her head as an alternative of a homosexual kerchief, and she or he went with out footwear or stockings. She was, furthermore, remarkably silent: I don’t assume we exchanged six sentences through the week I spent together with her folks; and she or he was nearly equally reserved in the direction of her husband’s dad and mom.

She didn’t smoke within the presence of her father- in-law ; however when he was away, or so occupied as to be unlikely to note, she would take a cigarette from me, unroll it, borrow her mother- in-law’s little pipe, and luxuriate in a whiff.

Not like Persians and Arabs, who’re pleased with their family tree, the Gypsies resemble the Turks, who thus specific their religion within the equality of all courses of Ottomans, and the democratic Bulgarians, in having no surnames. As some compensation every Gypsy boasts two private names of his personal, one for house and the opposite for official use. Petrika was recognized to the police and different unusual folks as Gyorgi, Totaua as Kostandina, Turi as Todor, and Bistem as Tanasi. When it’s essential to outline an individual extra precisely, the identify of his or her father is added within the genitive case, as, for instance, Turi (son) of Petrika, and Totana (daughter) of Shudrila.

 

Standard

Marble tombs sheltered by weary timber

You cross by some marble tombs sheltered by weary timber, beneath the enormous shadow of a mosque, and some steps farther on you look via an arched doorway and see on the marble ground of a dimly lighted corridor half-naked males, with tufts of black hair drooping from partly shaved heads and striped towels girt spherical their loins, going softly backward and forward, or bending a few fountain from which water gushes with a silvery noise. It is a Turkish bathtub. All through Stamboul there are bath-houses with little cupolas on their roofs, and all through Stamboul there are tombs; however the uneasy and watchful crowds throng the quarters close to the waterside and the nice bazaars and the areas earlier than the principal mosques. They don’t seem to be unfold all through the town. Many components of Stamboul are because the waste locations of the earth, deserted by males.

By night time they’re silent and black; by day they appear to be the methods of an awesome wood village from which the inhabitants have fled. Of their open areas, patches of waste floor, maybe a couple of goats are attempting to browse amongst garbage and stones, a couple of little youngsters are loitering, two or three silent males could also be sitting beneath a vine by a shed, which is a Turkish cafe. There isn’t a sound of steps or of voices. One has no feeling of being in an awesome metropolis, of being in a metropolis in any respect. Little there’s of romance, little of that mysterious and beautiful melancholy which imaginative writers have described. Dullness and shabbiness brood over all the pieces. But an unlimited inhabitants lives within the apparently empty homes. Girls are watching from the home windows behind the grilles. Life is fermenting within the midst of the mud, the discomfort, the just about ghastly silence.

The good bazaar of Stamboul

The good bazaar of Stamboul is a metropolis inside a metropolis. As you stand earlier than its entrance you consider a fortress stuffed with immured treasures. And there are treasures of worth beneath the heavy arches, within the lengthy roofed-over lanes. The bazaars of Tunis appear minute, of Damascus ephemeral, of Cairo dressed up, of Jerusalem crushed collectively and stifling, when put next with the huge bazaars of Stamboul, which have a solidity, a massiveness, unshared by their rivals. I noticed there many low cost items reminiscent of I’ve seen on sure cubicles within the East Finish of London, however they have been surrounded with a sure pomp and dignity, with a curious environment of age. Some components of the bazaars are slender.

Standard

THE COMB-MAKERS

Glorious weatherproof tents

That they had good robust carts and glorious weatherproof tents. Their carts (tcdigas) are gaily painted troughs, on the back-boards of that are circles containing some naively executed image, a bunch of flowers, or a rearing horse, and at either side are iron steps related with splash-boards over the 4 wheels. The trough, or physique, rests in a cradle on the 2 axles, however is just not hooked up to them rigidly, the axles themselves being related collectively by a central beam, a way of building which provides nice flexibility, and permits the automobile, though springless, to journey the worst roads with out catastrophe. The tents are product of goat’s-hair material, arduous, tough, and really thick : they’re costly, for an acceptable piece prices eight napoleons. The material is supported partly by the taliga itself, which it covers and protects, and partly by a framework of poles. Of those there are 5, in addition to the pole of the taliga, which makes the sixth—two poles morticed to type the entrance triangde ; the skinny back-post (beli) resting on the bottom, and steadied by insertion by the step of the waggon ; the horizontal ridge-pole (berand) ; and two different horizontal poles, one in all them the driving pole of the waggon, which relaxation on the taliga behind the tent, and are tied to the entrance poles half-way between their intersection and the bottom. The cart thus stands throughout the tent to which it types the again, and the material is pegged out by way of goat’s-hair cords hooked up at common intervals, in order that the sting is about six inches from the earth. Such a tent, in contrast with the dwellings of the Zagundzhis, was a palace.

The tribe had come to Varna in an effort to work on the harvest, the place the boys anticipated to earn about two francs a day; however their ostensible technique of livelihood was making combs, a occupation during which they confirmed nice dexterity. They purchased the horns of cattle, lower them into brief cylinders which they break up longitudinally and flattened by warmth and strain, formed the piece, smoothed it with a rasp and polished it with ashes; then they lower the tooth with surprising regularity by way of two hand-saws, one high quality, and the opposite coarse, and completed the comb with just a little crude ornament in double traces by rocking the handle-end of a file throughout the floor of the horn. A person may produce thirty combs a day, however their income had been most likely restricted slightly by the quantity they might promote than by the quantity they might make.

A lot I discovered by two visits to their picturesquely located camp close to Indzhe-Kioi, just a little village about three miles from Varna, and I discovered additionally that their Rumanian Romani, owing to my earlier expertise with the same dialect, was much more simply intelligible than the dialects shaped beneath Turkish and Bulgarian affect that I had heard in Osman’s mahala. My beneficial first impression was confirmed on the second go to, when the comb-makers entertained the Vice-Consul and myself with food and drinks, and gossiped pleasantly, if not with the inconsequent liglit-heartedness of the Zagundzhis; and, later within the night, they received my coronary heart utterly when, with out remark, they raised the side-cloth of the tent so that all may admire an attractive sundown. I made a decision that these fashions of Gypsy propriety can be most fascinating travelling companions, and, seeing that with their assist it will be straightforward to evade the difficulties attributable to Osman’s prohibition, I misplaced no time, however broached the topic directly, and made preparations for escape.

 

Standard