It is a beautiful day in Telmar. I mean seriously beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that the smog only makes it prettier. When you were in bed or just waking at 6:00 this morning, I was waiting for the ferry to bring me home and listening to Beirut. What a wonderful band by the way. As I sat, I began to reflect over the day so far. Going to church every Sunday is always an adventure. Our church is on Istiklal Caddessi (Liberty Avenue) which is one of the busiest streets in Telmar. It is definitely the most famous and for good reason. Today it was busier than usual which, as we ate lunch in a small cafe, became readily apparent. As we ate, the sun shone a pale light for our happiness, groups of tourists with cameras and children in tow streamed by as if on parade, chanting protestors made their way to the Russian Embassy, Galata-Saray soccer fans clad in red and gold floated by chanting their fight songs, and in the middle of it all a dog made diarhea everywhere. Suddenly my mushroom pasta seemed a lot less appetizing.
The city where we live is divided almost down the middle by a strait. With only two bridges to span the gap between the halves created by the strait, a large portion of the city's population depends on ferries (iskelesi) to travel between each side. Each ferry (iskele) holds around 4-500 passengers. When we stepped off of the iskele today, we were as usual bombarded with the push to get off the boat without the discomfort of falling in the water and the frantic energy that surrounds the harbor. Because so much of the population travels this way, the area has the potential for good profit for those interested. All along the walkways are women selling flowers, salesmen calling out the prices of their wares (anything from toy cell phones to heating pads) and lines of shoeshiners stretch in bunches in every direction. It can be overwhelming at first. Still, on a beautiful day like today, as we walked to our bus, it struck me just how alive this city is. Millions of people and everyone of them busy. It is like an anthill and I cannot begin to take it all in, but I promise to do a better job of telling you about it more often in the future.
Below is a picture I took of Hazel today.
I asked the question yesterday, Can man be moral? I would appreciate any thoughts on this question to be shared in the comments section. In other words, please comment. I've been thinking a lot about this recently and though I'm going to tell you what I think later this week (hopefully) I do want to know what you think. The answer to this question has pretty big implications to how we live, what we think, and how we approach the world at large. Seriously, please give me your thoughts. I promise you won't be mocked, ridiculed, or otherwise thought down upon no matter what your answer is.