Weekly Photo Challenge – Security


MB read in the dim and distant past, or heard it from some sage or other, that street performers help lower street crime in the areas in which they operate. MB guesses that street criminals just get chilled out when the hear the music, smoke a joint or a fag (Irish slang for ‘cigarette’), and just go with the normal flow, rather than engaging in their more usual dastardly criminal activity flow, like stealing MB’s camera and such like.

MB just looked up the statistics for ‘street buskers help to lower street crime’, and guess what? Google never even heard of the theory, nay, never even heard of the absolute fact. Prompted by that particular piece of ineptitude, MB just looked up the google share price and was not surprised to see that it’s down 3.16 points on the day. No wonder, MB is now thinking, if the googlers (people employed by google) don’t even know that street musicians help to reduce crime, then they don’t know diddly squat.

So get your s**t together googlers. Feed your knowledge from MB’s HX blog, and stop the share price rot.

MB is just now running off to do a search on Bing and Yahoo and see what they throw up. They can’t be as bad as google, surely.

MB came across this guy, playing a tune on board a ferry that was crossing the Bosphorus Straits, on 11 April 2014. How do you know the exact date MB? Just because MB does lads. For sure, MB didn’t find it out on google. And MB can safely report, that there wasn’t a single crime during that 15-minute crossing!




Less than 24 hours ago, the bridges over the Bosphorus Straits were closed by Turkish army units who were attempted a coup. The coup failed. For medium-term or longer-term impacts we must wait and see. MB is no fan of Erdogan, but he does not support any coup.

MB has traveled to Istanbul a number of times in recent years and took many shots of the Bosphorus and its bridges. Herewith:



Photo Story – 5 of 7

Istanbul is the most interesting city that MB has visited. Half the city lies in Europe and half in Asia. It has a wealth of history that rivals or betters most cities in the world and is a fascinating place to visit and wander about. Most visitors go to the old town to see the ancient walls of the city, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia Museum, the underground water cistern, or to take boat rides on the Bosphorus sea straights which divides the city into its two halves.

Taksim Square on the Asian side of the city is also a place of tourist pilgrimage for many visitors, partly due to the large scale street protests that took place there in recent years. There were many conflicting stories in the media at the time about what exactly the numerous groups who took part in the protests actually wanted. The protests started in the first instance as an attempt to stop the demolition of some trees in a park adjoining the square for the erection of an office block. Then they turned into anti-Government protests against various proposed laws. MB spoke to a young Turkish tour guide who took part in the protests during one of his visits to Istanbul who confirmed that many people had different agendas at the protests, but the one factor galvanising them all was a desire to stop the further Islamisation of Turkey.

Nowadays the Square’s majority occupants are the pigeons who swoop down in large numbers to eat the monkey nuts scattered by the tourists, who purchase the nuts from the street sellers. If you ever have to good luck to get to Istanbul, and get to wander around the square, take a walk down Istiklal Street (translates as ‘Independence Street’) which starts at the corner of the square just behind the monument, and which is the primary shopping street in the city. It’s about one mile long and has a great array of shops, food to die for, and many street entertainers.

MB gives you one of his shots of Istiklal Street to give a flavour:


Istanbul – Culinary Backstreet Walking Tour

MB loves his food!

Read More


Assalamu alaikum to all

MB is a tad tight for time this week and will be for next four weeks. Family & friends arriving to MB’s desert encampment. So MB presently busy sweeping sand from magic carpets, picking dates, baking bread on hot stones, giving water to the camel herd, erecting guest tents, digging wells, and other such desert pursuits in preparation for the arrival of the Westerner infidels.

First camel train arrives tonight and MB is whisking his guests away to the Bosphorus on Sunday – a stretch of water crossed by two bridges that divides Europe and Asia. MB will try to take shot with one foot in each continent, to reflect his life overall in his current scenario. Many sites to be seen and MB’s camera will be flat to the boards. Expect the usual foto fest upon MB’s return. MB promises you all some truly visual awesomness.

And if you have never previously seen the Bosphorus from outer space – here’s what it looks like:


The land on the left is Europe. The land on the right is Asia. The blue sea on top is the Black Sea, and the blue sea on the bottom is called the Sea of Marmara, which is connected to the Aegean Sea (by another Strait called the Dardanelles). The city that is visible on both sides of the Bosphorus is Istanbul. The Bosphorus is also known as the Istanbul Straits.

Note 1 – No other Blog provides Geography lessons as an aside to the main event (kudos to the HX Report!)

Note 2 – the above photo was not taken from outer space by MB. It was taken by a satellite. Or more probably, by a camera that is affixed to a satellite.

So MB will not launch into any stories or engage you all in any banter this week. He will however give you all some photos to stop your moaning.

When MB was visiting Dubai a few months back on one of his monthly visa runs from KSA, he went early morning to an equestrian centre where he took some shots. Click, click, click went MB, and the below are some of the results. The guys who run the place and some of those who keep their horses there are competitive show jumping riders and take part in weekly competitions throughout the UAE. Hope you like.

So until next weekend Crossers, when MB will inform you of his trip amongst the Ottomans.

Have a nice weekend.



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