“Nimet” the doorman at the Büyük Karavanseri Hotel. 84 years old & still looking for action. The Hotel is 500 years old and also looking for action. A silk-route trader hostel in stone with courtyards & fountains – Ah, Diyarbakir! (I had to lose Nimet in a mosque.)—— Many Turkish friends have said Nimet is only a girl’s name, but that’s what his name card said. The hotel was very proud of him for surviving three wives. He stuck like glue but had to let go when I ducked into the mosque.
The unrestored karavansaray- hostel for the Silk Road——Totally absorbed in their game, these caravansary denizens forgot I was there. I drew for two hours.
Piece o’graffiti on a ruined building in Karakoy while waiting for my paint – 4 women in progressive degrees of cover on the ferry – Much scarf-tossing: the first scarf! – University job has fallen through – Wandering Sultanahmet in shock—–I lost my job over a point of semantics with two colleagues. I had no idea why. All my paperwork was cancelled, all my money tied up in a new apartment. But I found friends in unexpected places, and slowly built my life back, on a much more solid foundation.
ZEYTIN THE BREAKFAST CAT
Actual size – Kitty comfort: On a grim morning while I am struggling with rage (landlord won’t finish my apartment) terror (hotel bill) & disappointment (my colleagues) Zeytin purrs anyway. Then of course there’s the Blue Mosque——This kitten lived at my favorite cafe.
EXCITED TO BE DRAWN
She’s adorable, isn’t she? Don’t remember who she was, but this made her very happy.
FACE ON THE TRAM
Drawn with just a glimpse…
THE NIGHT MANAGER
…at the hotel where Ygor & I found each other. We became friends. Ygor lived in the new apartment, which I was painting with a helper while I lived in the hotel for three weeks. The helper was a cousin of this manager, a lousy painter, but I didn’t know another one.
Don’t remember where I saw these guys but Özturk here drew himself.
THE UGH COUPLE
She married a guy from Mardin & had a baby by him but went back to Australia anyway
Irfan – Surly guy at a hooker hotel – Brrrr——It was a hotel across from Kybele- now it’s renovated & I hope the staff is too.
AHMET’S HANDSOME SON
Tried to help me with a horrible landlord… a nice guy!
AHMET BEING A PLAYER
Nizam’s boss at Heavenly Carpets. Back in the day, when Ahmet was a guide, he found those famous Viking runes in Hagia Sophia, for a Norwegian professor. Said it took him two weeks.
JUANITA FROM SPAIN
…getting prettier every day——I met her while drawing “Seaview” in the last book. A little shit gangbanger ripped her gold necklace off her neck, and we bonded during a day with the police, who were aces.
SERKAN & OLIVIA
“I have been working since I was ten, now I am manager.” Olivia, the only fixed cat in Sultanahmet——A carpet shop on the tramline. It was Serkan who told me that backpackers buy expensive carpets. Guess it’s all those med and law school grads on their freedom fling. Serkan has done very well, with his own store.