I am way more adventurous than Michèle when it comes to touching things and sticking fingers in things and eating food from street vendors –  (she might be right about the street food thing.) That said, there was no reason she should not have stuck her thumb in the hole of the hand prayer thingy, or as the guidebooks call it, The Weeping Column.

Michèle Mozian Gözleme and Coke.

I’m not the only one stuffing my face with Gözleme. Here’s Michèle with one in her left hand and her trademark Coke in her right hand. (She wasn’t allowed to drink soda until she was 17.)

Hagia Sophia is a museum now, but it started out in the 4th century as a Christian Church. Then in the 15th century it became a mosque when the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople. (NOTE – In 1930, Istanbul was Constantinople. Why they changed it I can’t say. People just liked it better that way.)

But this isn’t a history lesson or a They Might Be Giants concert. This is a lesson in sticking your fingers in things. Or metaphorically speaking, doing all you can in the moment so you don’t have any regrets. Though I must admit, Michèle couldn’t care less that she didn’t stick her thumb in the hole of the weeping column. She has so many other regrets, most involving me, so this would never be an issue.

So what’s the big deal? In the Hagia Sophia church, I mean mosque, I mean museum, there’s a column with a hole in it that pilgrims stick their thumbs in and make a wish while rotating their hands 360 degrees. Failure to complete the full rotation nullifies your wish. I basically watched other people doing it so I just did it too. Maybe its not actually a thing and Michèle was right. Go read a guidebook before you do this.

Supposedly water drops come out of hole – hence the name weeping column. But we did not see any drops. It was damply gross due to the throngs of filthy human thumbs that have been probing this hole for ions.

Joe Mozian sticks thumb in ancient column!

It’s a bit sad how proud I seem to be for doing this.

I don’t recall what I wished for, but I’m certain it did not come true.

Joe in Hagia Sophia

Hi! I’m a tourist!

As for the carpet comments in the video – from the moment we landed in Turkey to the moment we left, someone was trying to sell us a carpet. Ironically, we literally planned on buying a carpet in Turkey, but the bombardment was so annoying, we left sans carpet.

Joe in Ortakoy kumpir shop CLEAN_edited-1.png

These were my Kumpir peeps! When you take a photo with your street food vendors, that’s when you know they made an impact in your life.

IMPORTANT WORDS ON THIS PAGE: Gözleme – a delicious Turkish fast-food pancake-ish wrap that you can’t stop ordering wherever you go. I would get them two at a time. Kumpir – basically a baked potato mashed up like you’ve never scene, with all sorts of things that you choose, then smothered with more things you choose. Best place to eat these two things while in Istanbul is Ortaköy – a seaside area for strolling and eating street food in the evening.