And to wrap up the posts about tulips and things that happened months ago...the weekend after we got back from Amsterdam, we headed to Emirgan Park on the Bosporus to check out Istanbul's best array of tulips. The flowers were gorgeous and planted in various patterns, including the Turkish flag and an evil eye. But more than anything, though, it was a huge culture shock after Holland, and it drove home what makes Istanbul most unique -- its CRAZINESS. Which some people love and some people hate. Holland's Keukenhof Gardens were just so orderly, and everyone followed the paths and for the most part didn't walk or sit on the grass, and it was lovely and serene. The flowers were pristine, perfect, like they were plucking out the bedraggled ones after hours.