Tuesday, March 17, 2009

evet, hamster var.

I went to Eminönü in search of a rope to climb— you see, I miss my trapeze training and I was hoping I could at least keep up with some rope tricks until I get a trapeze of my own to practice on. I instead left Eminönü with a hamster.

Behind the Spice Bazaar is a labyrinth of streets with tiny shops that sell everything from pets to hammocks to coffee. It's a remarkable place if you don't mind squeezing your way through crowds in tiny spaces. I find the pet section a little upsetting as I hate seeing animals in cages, but I thought I'd brave it to surprise my little sister with a hamster.

Not knowing what the Turkish word for "hamster" is, I had hoped it was also "hamster"— many Turkish words are the same as or similar to English and French words but phonetically spelled: telefon, otel, otobus. I asked a shopkeeper with my best Turkish accent, "Hamster var mi?" To my delight he replied "Evet, hamster var."— Yes, there are hamsters. Hamster is hamster.

I want to mention quickly that all the flags in the pictures above are from opposing political parties vying for votes in the local elections on the 29th. The city has been lying underneath webs of flags of all colours with party logos and representatives' faces, and party minivans have been patrolling the streets blasting music for over a month now. Some of the music sounds quite pop-like, that I wonder if they are political or just pop songs.

The first painting was the last 365 still life I did before the migraine on the 7th. Today was the first day since that I have felt clear-headed and human, so I picked up where I left off with this unusual pear. I'll replace this image with a better-lit one tomorrow. It's almost two in the morning and I'm getting sleepy. The hamster however, has discovered its wheel and shows no sign of stopping.

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