Palatka at Fono

| - | 17:58 | comments(0) | trackbacks(0) | pookmark |
Fish Festival-2
Budapest today, partly cloudy but warm and sometimes windy. In from of our apartment, a big construction site is going on, sometimes you can see sandy winds. I went Yoga class first time in two month, stretched my muscles well and felt very good.

(Continuing from Fish Festival-1)

After all the judges took seats, Attila went on the stage and started to announce all the judges one by one. I was called as well, as a judge from Japan, I stood up and bowed.


Finally the food comes!

Fish soup

Octopus Salad

Palamut prepared with tomato and shrimps

Palamut is Atlantic Bonito, about 20-30cm, it looks like a little child of big Bonito in Japan. The end of August is when you start to see Palamut at fish shop in Istanbul, Bonito season! The interesting thing is, in the Turkish language Palamut changes its name depending on the size, just like some Japanese fish like Buri or Hamachi. Most of them are Palamut at fish shops but you sometimes see “Torik” for the Palamut looking fish but in a bigger size about 50cm.

Stuffed squid

Everything was so delicious…I had to rate them 1-10, but it was too difficult for my tongue to define the points, so on my paper most of the food got 8 or 9.

Midye Dolma

Midye Dolma – “Stuffed Mussel with Pilaf “is one of the popular Istanbul fast-food and my big favorite food, squeeze the lemon and use the half shell as spoon to shovel the pilaf to mouth, delicious…

More food was coming to the judges’ table.


Stuffed paprika with seafood

Seafood Kavarma

Then last chef whose name was Aisha who was a young girl going to cookery school came up front of the judges and made a speech, she was very nervous at this big opportunity, and her voice was shaking.

Her dishes were Midye Dolma and Mackerel.



Look at this beautiful Midye Dolma!


And it had nice spices, so delicious, yes it was 10. Mackerel was very good too, there was no strong “Mackerel” smell, she is a great cook!

We were stuffed with good seafood, but the result would be announced at night, so we went for a walk again. One shop owner asked me if I was from Japan, I said Yes, he immediately opened his newspaper in front of me to show me the headlines.


I had heard that a Japanese football player had just joined the team Galatasaray which is one of three Istanbul footbaal teams. The shop owner told me how much he loves Galatasaray and how strong it will be with this “Samurai” player, well I don’t really speak Turkish, that’s what I understood from his gestures. Then he made a big kiss to Inamoto (News paper). Football unites people!(It looked like...)

There were concerts on the stage and sun went down.


We again became a bit hungry, so more Midye Dolma (I never get bored) and beer.


After one drink I suddenly felt so tired from today’s many attractions, so we went home before we heard the result.

Later on, we heard the result. The young girl Aisha actually got highest points, but she is student so she’s got special prize and she was promised a job as chef at one seafood restaurant. So, this year’s prize went to the Fish Burek from Capana Restaurant.


On the photo you can’t see inside, but there was fish with capers having a beautiful harmony and the flavor was exceptional. I know Bob and Bob Beer rated it high as did I. Maybe we were the judges who made the fish Burek win.
| Istanbul | 23:13 | comments(2) | - | pookmark |
Fish Festival-1
Already October…It’s been already nearly two weeks since I came back from Istanbul. Today was cloudy, but it’s been beautiful weather in Budapest these days, very nice. But it will be cold soon, winter is coming here just like every year, I know that’s nature, but I almost can get depressed just to think about the word “winter” even…

Anyway, still Istanbul’s story continues. After we enjoyed Karadeniz music, we went out of the bar to have fresh air.

Cafes and bars are lined on the street and they all have tables at outside. We started to talk to one of the bar’s owner who was from Macedonia and then soon we started to drink beers together at his bar.

I just looked up the bar’s door and found posters saying “Balik Festival”. Balik means fish, so, Fish Festival?

Since I’ve lived in the landlocked country Hungary, constantly I’ve been suffering from the shortage of seafood syndrome. In Istanbul I’ve been eating a lot of seafood for rehabilitation.

I could see that the fish festival is happening today and tomorrow on the poster. I couldn’t stop my curiosity with the word “fish” on the poster, I asked the bar owner Attila “What is the fish festival?” Surprisingly he was the organizer of the festival, we talked about the festival, about fish, about seafood, about how much I love fish…the end I was invited to be a judge for the fish restaurant contest. Yes! The fortune comes like this way sometimes.

Next day me and Bob went Samatya where will be the venue for fish festival. Samatya is a little town with a station of the suburban train which runs along the Sea of Marmara.


Over the street, big Sea of Marmara appears.


On the small square, there are fish shops, fast “sea” food restaurants which offer fish sandwich and fried fish, and many seafood restaurants. But not so many tourists would know this little town, so it is a hidden pleasure.



The stage and the table for the judges’ ware set up, on the square.


Posters for the festival on the wall in town.


We arrived before the festival started, so went for a walk to the coast where there are some Byzantium bricks. It turns out that this was the main harbor of Byzantium.


When we went back to the square, the festival was already started with some bicycle show.


Two women on the stones to see the show.


After the bicycle show everybody could have free seafood soup, it looked already so good.


Then here comes the contest! All the judges including me, Bob and our friend Bob Beer who lives in Istanbul were called to have a seat on the judges’ table. I ‘m very excited to see what kind of foods are coming to me.

| Istanbul | 22:37 | comments(0) | trackbacks(0) | pookmark |
Istanbul's sky
On Thursday night, I was shooting at a restaurant’s roof top where I can see the Bosphorus. In the sky there was a round moon.


I thought, wow it’s a full moon, but didn’t really care, I just tried to get my work done. One woman came up to me and said, “Tonight is not only full moon, the moon becomes small, do you know? I don’t know what to say in English and what time it happens, I’ll ask my friend.”

She went to ask her friend, and then she gave me a note that says:

“Eclipse 21:20”

Wow, in 1 hour there will be and eclipse! I moved to another restaurant and started to shot. And then, I forgot completely about eclipse… I didn’t have any room in my mind to think about nature. I felt sad.

And then today, late afternoon, I just looked at the sky for no reason, at some airplanes’ jet trails in the sky like blue clouds.

One of them, it must have been in the sky a long while, blown by the air there, it almost like an angel’s wing.


I took my breath deeply, and then looked at the sky.

| Istanbul | 22:27 | comments(0) | trackbacks(0) | pookmark |
Istiklal Street which crosses Istanbul’s new town on the European side. Day and night, no matter when, there are always people walking and hanging out on this street, one of the busiest streets in Istanbul.

There are innumerable cafes and bars on the side streets from Istiklal Street. From Turkish folk music to Techno music, a lot of bars and clubs are blasting their sounds into the street, it is like a big flood of music.

Two weeks ago on Saturday night, when we were going though one of the side streets, suddenly “Karadeniz” music jumped into our ears. Karadeniz means Black Sea, in Turkish, there is very original and characteristic music and dance, people from there are very proud of their unique culture.

Bob is a big fan of music from Karadeniz and he influenced me to be also the big fan of it. Two years ago, we even visited towns like Trabzon or Rize (a center of Turkish tea farming) and villages near the Black sea coast.

The street party is approaching a climax; people are holding their hands and becoming one line, weaving through the tables on the little street.


The vocals is shouted to the high speed Karadeniz rhythms, on the left is Kemence, an ancient form of violin, on the right is Tulum, a bagpipe, both of them are important for their music.


The audiences are enjoying powerful Karadeniz music.



After they finish the stage, we tried to speak with the musicians. They didn’t really speak English but a man near us translated and we could know they were going to play at another bar tonight, Saturday night is long enough to enjoy! So we moved the bar, and music started.


As soon as music starts, of course the dancing does too. The dancers hold each other’s hands to make a line, their bodies were going up and down and they shake their shoulders too. Everybody knows how to dance from their bottom of hearts or core of their bodies, they must be from Karadeniz.


The vocalist also danced in the “Karadeniz” way.


These musicians, and many of the audience, are also called “Laz” an ethnic minority group in the region. On the stage they speak Turkish but in between them they speak Laz.

One girl extended her hand to me to join their dance, and I was in the circle next moment. I tried to make steps as watching their steps and moved my shoulders.

For them, tonight is the night to enjoy their hometown music, I am just a stranger who suddenly showed up, but they pulled me to dance with them so naturally. I was so moved and my body and heart were warmed up well.

| Istanbul | 22:20 | comments(3) | trackbacks(0) | pookmark |
Grand Bazaar
It’s been already two weeks since I came to Istanbul. Everyday I’m shooting, sweating like hell carrying a camera bag and tripod on my back, but sea breezes are blowing through the town, so I can easily get relief just by being in the shade.

When you think of Istanbul, the first word you come up with would be “Grand Bazaar”, Turkish merchants who seem to speak all the world’s languages are trying to get from customers’ attention in so many ways. It is a bother sometimes, but too funny to resist spurting out what they say sometimes as well.

I set up the tripod and waited for a moment with no people in front of my camera. One of the men from the shop near by noticed me waiting and suddenly shouted.

“Please everybody stop, stooop! Photo!”

The people who are going to cross in front of my camera, all of halted their steps and waited, unexpectedly a chance to shot.

I said “Thank you very much” to everyone, who had stopped for a second, and I felt a little bit bad to bother them, but at the same time I couldn’t stop laughing at the charm of the Turkish merchants and their idea of service.

The Bazaar is the theatrical stage for Turkish merchants, I would never get bored.

| Istanbul | 23:28 | comments(0) | trackbacks(0) | pookmark |
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