Sultanahmet Square & The Human Lens of Subjectivity

Location: Waterloo, ON Sultanahmet Cd, 60400 Zile/Tokat Province, Turkey
The Blue Mosque
    Before I delve off into the contemplations of my idea of 'Philosophical Lenses,' I am going to describe the most awe inspiring experience since I was at Stonehenge around the same time last year. Today I visited some of the greatest historical, architectural, and culture sites the world has to offer. I left my hotel at around 1:30pm and asked the Maitre D for public transportation directions to get to my most anticipated tourist destinations: The Blue Mosque and The Hagia Sophia. He told me to save my money and gave me directions for a 15 minute walk that would take me to the front door of the great nucleus of ancient Christian/Western - Islamic/Eastern world relations and interactions, Sultanahmet Square.
     
Street Cats - 'Istanbulite Squirrels'
I was immediately taken back to the mindset of last summer, excited and observant, eager but reserved, I had to focus on the safety of me and my wallet, while not being distracted by the food vendors and my growing appetite. It was about a 2km hike up steep, narrow, and curvy uphill cobble stone roads, probably still reminiscent of an older Turkey; walking on history. A thing that is easily and quite quickly noticed in Istanbul is the abundance of cats. In my travels the local everyday animals have been lizards in Arizona, Birds in Western Europe, and Now Cats in the Near Middle East. Seeing these kittens reminded me of my cat back in Tulsa, and even though I won't be looking forward to leaving Istanbul in 2 months, my cat will make the return that more sweeter and a little bit less bitter.

 
The Hagia Sophia
     I wanted to go inside the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, but I did not meet the dress requirements and I am on a limited budget and do not yet know if I can swing paid museums in my budget... But there was still plenty to do, take pictures of, and look at during my outing. No matter where it seems I have been in Europe the prevalence of a poverty class is quite publicly visible and that facilitates the 'informal economy,' while not exactly a cliche Black Market Arms Bazaar, kids with water and ice, men with simple carts selling corn, and endless supplies of knock-off designer accessories. While the majority of these items are in plain sight, it is the peddlers that try to grab your attention that can sometimes be the most amusing part. "Hey Buddy! Where you from?" was constantly hurled at me throughout the day, shouts of "Good, Very Nice," "Best Price, Cheap Cheap," and random inaudible prices in Turkish Lira were just as often of visitors into my ear canal.
    
Bob Marley & Hookahs
     After I got my sight seeing and pictures taken care of, I decided to investigate the vast assortment of nick-nacks and souvenirs the cramped and musky aroma-ed shops had to offer. The highlight of my day was when I was walking back to the hotel and I stopped in at the street shops on the way back. The shop keepers would ask me where I was from, and when I replied Oklahoma, they would excitedly say combinations of "Ah Oklahoma, NBA, Thunder, Kevin Durant." I thought it was simply a fluke the first time I heard it and then over the next 10 shops I would get the basketball reference as a response three more times.

a Collage of Hotel Agan & Salute Pub
      Two other times they said "Ah, Sooners!" I tried to explain to the shop owners as best I could that I was a foreign student and that I would be studying at the American University here for 2 months. I am concluding my stay at the Amazing Hotel Agan with a Hookah Session [Apple] and a Litre and a Half of Efen Pilsen... The Hotel & Pub Staff were Amazing; and Dad you know how to pick a Hell of a Hotel, Thanks! Tomorrow I check out at Noon [12:00] and I'm headed off to the Bogazici SuperDorms !!!

(a Philosophical Work in Progress)

     I have a theory on people 'witnessing' their faith in action. I mulled over this idea while touring Sultanahmet [Old City], Istanbul today. Life is about how we view the world, Since we are Humans and cannot be Purely Objective, we Must select a lens of subjectivity to apply to our lives; People saying they can see their faith is only said because they pick and choose stimuli and how they stack up with their beliefs...

     Consider: The World is Blue, the Lens of Christianity is Yellow, and the Lens of Islam is Red. Muslims say 'Everything I see is Purple, So the Koran is God's Truth' while Christians say 'Everything I see is Green, So the Bible is God's Truth.' A Christian will never be able to witness a 'Purple' event due to their selected lens and also Muslims will never be able to see a 'Green' event. Without your applied presupposition of your philosophy/religion in the form of a colored lens, you would not see the truth you now believe. Herein lies the problem, Truth needs to be a Cosmic Reproducibility, i.e. Blue being pure cosmic truth when viewed objectively. But as long as a lens is adhered to, you are doomed to witness only that which builds your belief. The ability to adhere to a Subjective belief is inherent human nature, because 70% of the time if you would have been raised Muslim in Saudi Arabia, you would now be posting statuses about the Koran, Mohamed, and Allah...

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