1. David Byrne mentions backgammon and the Marmara sea in this chapter of Bicycle Diaries on Istanbul. Backgammon is one of the oldest board games known. It is a two-player game where playing pieces are moved according to the roll of dice, and a player wins by removing all of their pieces from the board before their opponent. Backgammon is a member of the table’s family, one of the oldest classes of board games in the world. The Sea of Marmara is the inland sea, entirely within the borders of Turkey, that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, thus separating Turkey’s Asian and European parts.
  2. I don’t know if I would be courageous enough to bike through Istanbul knowing how densely packed it is with cars. I do see the appeal, though, since his writing portrays how you see the city from another lens. You pass by everything and everyone as if you’re involved too. You can tell he cares about the history and culture of Istanbul, and presumably everywhere he travels. In my opinion, I believe that that is importance for an artist, it I inspires you to create.