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.