I celebrated my birthday in Constantinople. When I visited in 1981, the population was 2.7 million, about half of whom were carpet salesmen. A lot has changed since then.
Istanbul, historically known as Constantinople, is the 5th largest city proper in the world with a population of 12.8 million. There still are thousands of carpet salesmen, but distributed among them is a vibrant collection of perhaps the nicest, most helpful people I have ever met, and the nicest bunch of cats in the world. (more…)