You cross by some marble tombs sheltered by weary timber, below the enormous shadow of a mosque, and some steps farther on you look by means of 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 back and forth, or bending a few fountain from which water gushes with a silvery noise. This can be a Turkish tub. 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 aren’t unfold all through town. Many elements 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 ideal picket village from which the inhabitants have fled. Of their open areas, patches of waste floor, maybe a number of goats try to browse amongst garbage and stones, a number of little kids are loitering, two or three silent males could also be sitting below a vine by a shed, which is a Turkish cafe. There is no such thing as a sound of steps or of voices. One has no feeling of being in an ideal 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 every thing. But an infinite 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 virtually ghastly silence.
The nice bazaar of Stamboul
The nice 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 value below 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 had been surrounded with a sure pomp and dignity, with a curious ambiance of age. Some elements of the bazaars are slim.