From the rest of the bustling town by a stream and small incline. After dropping off our things in our rooms, we all (minus Jarret, who was afraid that the wind, humidity, and most certain rain would cause his health to regress) ventured to a mosque, which was beautiful from what we saw, but our time was limited by the call to prayer happening in 10 minutes. We walked past a library and into town to visit another museum, which was by far the least impressive and worst at English translations of all the places we’ve seen so far on the trip. There were two points of note, though. For one, there was a bible from the Byzantine period on display, and above it, there was an extensive multi-paragraph explanation about what a bible is, yet not one about the Quran. I guess that’s how it should be in a predominantly Islamic country – it just took me and Robin aback a little. Also, there was a mummy display while we were there. In other museums and displays, we’d seen bones and burial objects and whatnot, but the sight of these mummies, still so recognizably human, really hit me and Morgan hard. We were looking at what was left of our fellow people. For me especially, I felt a different kind of sorrow and empathy at the sight of the mummies of two three-year-old princes. It just struck me really hard that a royal mother somewhere had to bury the next possible leader of their Ottoman Empire. And suddenly I grew very mute and melancholy and even slower than usual as I continued to think of all the things the baby boy never got to do or see or feel – and all the things his possible sibling(s) had to do without a companion. It sort of sucked the joy right out of me, despite all the comfort Robin, Saverio, Morgan, and Joellen tried to offer me. We left there and made our way to the next museum, but my spirits were thoroughly shot and I couldn’t bring myself to verbalize much of anything. We arrived at the gate of what I think was a mental institution and medical center during the reign of the Ottomans, but Morgan and I were quite distracted by the mummies still, as well as an assembly of traditionally-dressed Turkish dancing men. We wanted to stay and see why there were dancing, and stood outside the museum contemplating whether we should enter or stay back and investigate the modern, live culture. After serious contemplation, we decided to go in against our will. We looked through one of like six exhibits on medical tools and books in the 13th century before we realized that the dancing was warm-up and rehearsal for their independence day parade. While the crew kept museum-ing, we ran so fast out of there and took a spot on the sidewalks to wave at all the children in karate uniforms and Ataturk enthusiasts and Vietnam veterans. Everyone joined us very shortly, and Tolga and Umit gave us the option of staying to see the parade and town or following him to see more rock-cut tombs. Morgan, Saverio, Miles, and I stayed to see the end of the show, then meandered through town. I bought some Ataturk stickers and English flashcards, the boys got ice cream, and then we just walked and talked for a while about life and death and feminism. We took photos with 2 cute young ice cream boys, Miles was asked for a photo, and then we moseyed back to the hotel, where Jarret and I hung for the evening and we ate a lovely dinner to live music.
The Byzantine bible and its explanation in the museum in Amasya