A Roll of Film in Old Delhi (Part 2)

Sitting down across the street from the entrance to an old Mosque, I shoot pictures on the street.

Leica M6 TTL Camera. Kodak Tri-X Black and White Film pushed to ISO 1600.

A peanut seller appears with his cart.

First Customer

A heavy load

The Peanut Man

Group of women pass

Young girl wants to buy peanuts

Taking a stroll

Another Rickshaw passes

Another Customer

Some Poor Mother

On the corner is a juice bar.

And the busy street full of confusion

Even more lovely confusion ahead. A dynamic country!

All shots with a Leica M6 TTL Camera. Leica Summarit 35 mm f 2.5 Lens. Kodak Tri-X Black and White film. Developed with Kodak HC-110 Developer. Film pushed to ISO 1600. 

Some Street Pictures of Kolkata (Calcutta)

These pictures were taken in December 2018 in Kolkata (Calcutta). I like to use the old name of the city, Calcutta, better. I guess I just got used to that. A great city, which would be educational for anyone to visit.

These pictures were made with my cell phone. I normally shoot film, but I was running out of film, so I had to take some pictures that way.

A street scene with an old classical building. Part of the picture is underexposed, due to the shitty quality one sometimes gets with a cell phone.

Selling fresh coconuts on the street. These are cut open for the juice inside. Much more healthy that drinking Coke or Pepsi.

An ice cream vendor in the evening.

There are still these old-fashioned types of rickshaws on the streets. It seems that they should be banned, but they provide some way for some people to make a sort of living. Personally, I would not want to take one of these. It just seems too inhumane. 

Inside an old Hindustan Ambassador taxi. I love these old cars, based on a 1940s British model. They are like something out of the 1950s. They are no longer made in India. The drivers put their little Hindu gods and goddesses on the dash board. Amusing. They are supposed to be metered, but generally, one just agrees to a price to go somewhere.

Alongside a city bus. Some of the public transport buses are in quite poor shape and incredibly crowded.

I am not sure if this emergency exit would be very useful in the event of an accident. It might just be a case of bending over and kissing one’s sweet ass goodbye. WB is West Bengal state.

A large mosque in a Moslem section of the city. Some people do not realize that a large number of Moslems live in India. In fact, it is a major Moslem country in terms of numbers of Moslems. It is the Nakhoda Masjid (Mosque). 

An older man in traditional Islamic dress. Don’t think there is any danger to foreigners here. People are fine and quite friendly. So one can feel quite at home, if that person is used to living and travelling in foreign countries.

A typical street-food place in Calcutta. It is a cheap place to eat and usually the food is quite good. On a holiday, it might not be the best idea. One must be acclimatized to Indian food.

The entrance to Nakhoda Mosque. Personally, I generally avoid anything having to do with religion. It makes life a hell of a lot easier.

A street in front of the Mosque.

This poor son of a bitch is having a hard day every day. Why wouldn’t he be wise to welcome a communist revolution? Actually the Marxists ruled West Bengal for many years, but didn’t do enough for the masses. If one compares this with China, one has to appreciate what a great success Mao was in modernizing China. Almost everything that Americans use these days is made in China. 

A calendar in Urdu, English and probably Hindi. The print is a little hard to make out.

These bananas are very tasty as they are generally ripened naturally and grown locally. Fruit is plentiful all through the year.

Indian capitalism has turned this poor guy into a human draft animal. Shouldn’t he be loyal to an economic system that treats him worse than a horse or a bullock? Where is the claim for justice and human rights? Why would such a person be worse off under communism? 

Another street seller. He is an entrepreneur. 

Another old classical building, now falling into decay. Want to compare this to what one sees in Shanghai? Now who says that Mao was not successful in developing China. Mao laid the foundation for capitalist China today. Yes, it is capitalist, but east Asian state-guided capitalism, not the wild west yahoo capitalism that has ripped the USA to hell. In the USA, corporate capitalists are the ruling class. Bezos with Amazon made profits of eight billion and is paying no taxes at all to the state. Now that is a hell of a ruling class. A hell of a democracy!

Getting fat with street profits.

Street scene, Calcutta. One might want to take a trip to Calcutta and see how Indian capitalism is treating the masses. One might learn some things that are not taught by professors in Economics 101. Most of those teaching the courses have never ever taken a trip outside the USA! That could make one think a little bit about what is going on in the world.





Basmane: A Traditional Section of Izmir, Turkey With Pictures

Basmane (Izmir, Turkey): Historical Smyrna

by Eddie James Girdner

In the nineteenth century, Basmane was a factory area. Basmane Railway Station was built between 1864 and 1866 for the Smyrna Cassaba Railway, which ran from Izmir to Turgutlu. In 1934 it became part of the Turkish State Railway system.

Today, Basmane is a traditional area of small shops, restaurants and hotels along historical Anafartalar Street. In the last few years, the area has changed with the coming of Syrian refugees. Many shops have been taken over by these new immigrants. It is a colourful and interesting area of the city, which is shown in these images.

All pictures were taken with a Leica M6 TTL camera with black and white film.

Basmane Railway Station, the main railway station in Izmir for Turkish State Railways.

A kokorec Vender in Basmane

Selling Nuts

Selling Simits near a historical fountain (Cesme). It is across the street from the Mosque.

One finds the most interesting mix of people in Basmane, it seems.

A very rich shop.

Selling Sweets

Passengers Arrive

Mobile Shop, selling dried okra, tomatoes, egg plant and so on.

Roll Your Own Tobacco for Cigarettes. Giving the Ultranationalist Wolf Salute of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP)

Out For a Stroll. Might be the happiest time of their lives.

A Saturday Afternoon Walk

A Square Near the Mosque

The Street

Street Scene

Waiting for a bite to eat.

For most, its a scramble for a living. Off to make a sale. These are the kind of poor people that America bombs in the Middle East. They are just simple people.

Plenty in the market, if one has the do ray me.

Homeward Bound

Man ain’t nothin but just a hoping machine (Woody Guthrie).

Many residents have come to the city from villages in the east of the country.

Local Restaurant on the Street

Used Clothes market in the Square. There are many Syrian Refugees, thanks to the war caused by the USA in Iraq and later Syria. The hell with democracy. They are just trying to save their lives.

Nothing like a good ear of sweet corn, anywhere in the world.

The Fruit Man Cometh

Night Shot of the Grand Corner Hotel across from the Railway Station.

That’s a little piece of old Basmane (Izmir, Turkey) or Historical Smyrna.

Its a great city.

Its a hell of a city.



Hogwash About Turkey

Hogwash about Turkey

Eddie J. Girdner

There is an article on the internet with the title: “14 Things NOT to do while traveling in Turkey.” The author is Justin Andress.

Really, Mr. Andress, I wonder if you have even been to Turkey. I think that if you had ever landed at an airport in the country for just half an hour, that you could not write such stupid things. Actually, it strikes me that one would need to work excessively hard to get so incredibly misinformed about the country.

Surely a glance at any travel guide such as Lonely Planet Turkey would disabuse you of a lot of the nonsense you have written here. There are a few suggestions that are true and useful along with the flood of horseshit. This flood of horseshit would leave one aghast when they actually visited the country if they really believed it!

I have lived in Turkey and North Cyprus for more than twenty-five years, so I can say that much of it is not true.

1.“Don’t eat or drink in public during Ramadan.”

Really? Are you kidding? I live in Izmir. All the restaurants have been going strong during Ramadan with Turks! There are fewer people in them. That is all. We have eaten several times in Merkez Lokanta in Seferihisar, a regional town, during Ramadan this year. It was a little less crowded for lunch with Turks! What you have written is utterly silly!

Some Turks fast during Ramadan, but lots of them pay little attention to it. In conservative areas, like Konya, it would be a little different, but Turks are allowed to eat and drink in public in Ramadan.

This is totally different from Pakistan, for example.

  1. “ISIS wants to ruin your vacation in Turkey.”


If you believe that, you should buy a lottery ticket, since you are far more likely to win the lottery than to get hit by ISIS! Actually, ISIS does not give a shit about your holiday. Sure, bombs have gone off in Turkey. Guess what? The USA has been launching wars next door for decades. So not surprising that this has happened. But one could get hit in Paris, London, New York or almost any place in the world today. Turkey is not more dangerous than these places. Most Turks just wish that the USA would get out of the area. That would help a lot in their view. (and mine too)

  1. “Don’t walk in front of someone who is praying.”

I guess this refers to inside a mosque. First, a tourist would not normally visit a mosque on a Friday when the service is happening. And if they did why would they walk in front of those praying? Most of the times, the mosque will be relatively empty. So, one can walk around without bothering anyone.

In Izmir there is a huge mosque near the old bazaar of Kemeralti. There are prayer rugs outside as there is an overflow of worshipers from the mosque on Fridays. They pray in the walk-way with people walking on every side of them. And no one is getting upset. So people are very reasonable.

Anyway there is a lot of tolerance toward foreigners, who may not know exactly what they should do. So, there is no need to worry as long as one respects others.

  1. “Don’t ignore the dress code. Wear conservative clothing.”

There is no dress code in Turkey. Women are free to wear a headscarf or not to wear one. There are many types of headscarves. Some peasant women wear them just to keep the sun off, like my mother used to do in the USA. Some represent styles of religious tarikats (sects), or just a fashion.

The only time a female tourist would need one would be visiting a mosque or other religious site. So, this is not a big concern.

As far as shorts, I see Turkish men wearing shorts all the time. Much more than some American tourists. It is hot. Why not? As for women, they wear shorts too. A lot. Sometimes I am actually shocked at how skimpy young Turkish women are dressed around Izmir and other tourist areas.

Maybe your information is very much outdated. There are all kinds of Turks and some are quite wild in their dress. One will see everything. From the southeast, some women cover completely in black. Now there are many women from Syria covered all in black. But tourists do not need to worry about dressing conservatively. That is hogwash!

  1. “Learn body language of Turks.”

Turks do not expect foreigners to use the Turkish body language. If one lives in the country long enough, one will learn it. But there is no reason why a tourist should know it. One can easily communicate yes or no without knowing it. Most Turks know at least a little English, German, or French.

  1. “Don’t expect a lot of booze, but expect a lot of smoking.”

You may not expect to see a lot of booze, but if you happen to be in tourist areas or in certain parts of Izmir and Istanbul, you are going to not only see a little booze, you are going to see RIVERS and RIVERS and RIVERS of BOOZE! In Turkey!

In Izmir in the Alsancak area, it is hard for me to get into a pub as a single, because they are all full to overflowing on almost every night of the week. Out in the street, both sides, the mayhanes (drink places) are full. In Istanbul it goes on till morning.

Some places have more than 20 brands of beer from many countries!

Wine and raki flow like rivers of water. And other drinks.

In summer in tourist areas, beer and wine suppliers are working overtime to keep the restaurants, pubs, and bars supplied with booze! The only way one would not see it is to keep their eyes closed all the time!

Are you kidding????? Get Serious!!!

Smoking, of course. Turks love to smoke.

Americans stopped smoking but are dying of obesity, it seems.

  1. “Don’t leave any food on your plate.”

I have never heard of that. And my wife, who is Turkish, says that she has never heard of that. So where did you get that?

You will not offend anyone by leaving food on your plate. Don’t worry.

  1. “Don’t buy ANYTHING without bargaining first.”

Actually, this only applies to items like carpets or other high value items that tourists might want to buy.

I buy all kinds of things all the time in Turkey, and one almost never needs to bargain. Most prices are pretty well set and quite fair. Tourists sometimes spoil this in tourist areas by thinking that one needs to bargain for everything. It is OK to ask for a small discount on many things. Sometimes shop keepers will give a discount without even being asked. They are generally not greedy. This is totally different from, say, India.

So generally one would just bargain for carpets of other higher-value items. The shopkeeper would normally give a discount without any hard bargaining.

Things in the article that are good ideas:

1.“Take off your shoes at Mosques”

One is not likely to forget this because there will be racks of shoes where others have taken them off. So, it is no problem. And one does not need to worry about their shoes being stolen.

2.”Learn a few words of Turkish”

Sure, this is a good idea.  But Turks will not necessarily expect it. Also, it will take some practice in pronunciation for the Turks to understand one. Whether they understand or not, it is a good idea.

3.“Manners and social graces.”

This is the same in Turkey as in any other country. But Turks are more polite to each other than in many countries. People are generally far more rude in the USA, depending on which part of the country.

  1. “Turkish males only talk to males.”

Maybe, maybe not. It depends upon a lot of things. Some Turks are very liberal. Some are very conservative, socially.

This would not be true in a university, for example.

  1. “Addressing single Turkish women.”

Again, this depends upon the situation. In general, it would not generally be a great idea to go around trying to pick up single women. This is probably true in most countries.

6.“Don’t say anything bad about Ataturk.”

Sure, a good idea. But the caution should probably be to avoid all politics for the most part. It would be better to ask Turks what they think and just listen. Most Turks love to talk about politics and generally have a lot of criticisms of what is going on. But they might not like to hear criticisms from foreigners. This is also true in many countries. Nationalism can raise its ugly head easily.

So, it is better to let the Turks curse the system, as this is popular and they love to do it.

More important cautions that were not mentioned:

  1. Be careful crossing the roads and streets.

In European countries, cars generally stop for pedestrians. Turkish drivers are not used to looking out for pedestrians. Sometimes they will even honk at them.

So, one is in far more danger from cars and trucks than ISIS or other terrorists. This is probably the biggest danger in the country. Don’t step out in front of cars and trucks. They will probably not stop, as in Europe.

  1. One will not suffer from a lack of food and drink. The biggest danger is over-eating and over-drinking.

One is not likely to be under-nourished. But there will be a great danger of being nourished-under. So take it easy on food and drink.

  1. Sun. The sun is very hot in the summertime in Turkey. Get professional sun-oil to protect one’s skin and do not bake one’s self in the sun like a broiled chicken. Some tourists lay out in the broiling sun for hours unaware of the dangers.
  2. If one drinks Raki, it is a delicious drink, and goes down easily. But because of that, one can drink too much very easily. So one should be cautioned. It is not a good idea to get dead-drunk in the street. One should be able to hold their drink.

True in any country.

If Mr. Andress ever writes more about Turkey, I hope that he either makes a trip to Turkey to actually see what is going on, or at least does his homework.

Horseshit has its uses, but it probably should not be piled on top of those who are planning to visit Turkey.






Ankara, Turkey Food Fair

Gozleme: Pastry filled with meat, potato, cheese or spinich.

Icli Kofta and Baklava


Cooking Gozleme


Dish with meat, tomatoes, peppers

Sweets: Bala Baba. Fried and soaked in Sugar

Piles of Sweets

Sweets: Cevizli Sucuk (Walnut Sausage) and others

Selection of Sweets: Cevizli Sucuk and Dried Apricots

More Sweets

Walnut Sausage and Dried Apricots

Sekerpare: Dried Apricots

Pestil and Cevizli Sucuk

Enough Peanuts to choke even a peanut monster like me