People say that you can only have one favorite thing in the whole wide world. I think these people are just silly. I have lots and lots of favorite things. And you know what? I think that many people in the world are sad because they have only one favorite thing in the world. Imagine that – if you only have one favorite thing and when you wake up in the morning that favorite thing isn’t there, then you feel sad, right? Well, when I wake up in the morning, if one of my favorite things isn’t there, I just look for another favorite thing and then there, I am happy . So that is why I think it is silly to have only one favorite things.

Well, one of my favorite things in the whole wide world is biking. I like everything about biking. I like the shape of bikes. I like to ride bikes, especially when I go out riding with one of my children. I like to look at the scenery when I ride my bike. I even like to feel the wind against my face when I ride my bike. My friend Beena knows that I really like bikes and so I know that she is surprised that I have not imagined something about bikes yet. I thought about that when I finished imagining stories for the last painting she sent to me and then I decided that for the next painting (this one I just received from my friend Beena) I would imagine something about bikes.

Boy am I glad that Beena included some bikes in this new painting I received from her. Can you imagine if she hadn’t included bikes in this picture???? How was I going to be able to imagine things about bikes then, like I promised myself that I would???? But I knew my friend Beena would come through and include bikes in this new painting, because she always does that for me . She knows that bikes are one of my favorite things! She also always includes dogs in her paintings, have you noticed that? Because dogs are her absolute favorite things. Well, not really things. Dogs are more like people than like things, really.

Well, anyways, let’s get down to business and imagine things about bikes. Bikes are great for the imagination, did you know that? They are, because when you are on a bike, riding through a peaceful place with the sun shining on you and the wind blowing against you, you cannot help imagining things and imagining the world as a beautiful place. Take this painting for an example. I bet you those bikers are having fun! They are riding everywhere – on the street, on the sidewalk, without a care in the world. They are probably daydreaming as they ride their bikes and take in the scenery. For some reason, though, they are all heading to the right. I wonder what is over there to the right, beyond what we can see in the painting. I imagine it must be another tunnel, like the one up ahead down the main street. It must be another tunnel, right? Otherwise the bikers would naturally be attracted and moving towards the tunnel at the end of the main street, right? Because tunnels are magical things, don’t you think? When I see a tunnel and cannot help but wonder what is on the other side. Because sometimes when I have been on one side of a big tunnel on a rainy day, I have gone into and through the tunnel and when I come out on the other side it is bright and sunny – not a cloud in the sky. Really, I’m not kidding you. That has really happened to me. Has that happened to you? Because when a tunnel takes you from one side of a big mountain to the other side of the mountain, the big mountain can hold all the clouds on one side while the other side is perfectly sunny. So that is why I think tunnels are magical and why I think that there MUST be another tunnel over to the right of the painting – otherwise the bikers would not be heading in that direction.

There is one more thing that I want to tell you guys about this painting. And this thing I want to tell you is not imagination, I am sorry, it is a real fact. That is because this painting is called “East Meets West on Buyukada Island, Turkey” and Buyukada Island really exists and it exists near a big, huge really, city called Istanbul in Turkey. Istanbul is such a beautiful city. It really is the city where East and West meet. You can just see it in the shapes of the buildings. Where else do you see squarish old building like the ones you might expect to see in Paris, London or Berlin side by side with tall skinny monuments called minarets that you might expect to see in places like Cairo, Riyadh, and Jakarta? And how about those round-roofed building you see in this painting? What types of buildings do they remind you of? I am not sure where you can find buildings with these rounded roofs, but they certainly remind me of a place called the Hagia Sophia, which is a famous (and amazingly beautiful) building I saw once in Istanbul, Turkey. If you ever get a chance, you should go and visit Turkey. And if you do, you should most certainly get the boat that takes you from Istanbul to the Buyukada Island because there you can find the old, old building that a famous man called Trotsky once lived in when he had to escape his home country of Russia. But that story is for another day, or if you are impatient like I am you can go to the library to get a book about him. He is certainly an interesting character. Got kicked out of Russia, lived on the island of Buyukada and ended up being assassinated in Mexico. Crazy story this man had.

Now it is your turn. What story or memories do you see in this painting called “East Meets West in Buyukada Island, Turkey”? Think of it and then write it down. Oh, and then don’t forget to pass it on to a friend so we can come up with 1,000 stories for this painting, together.

See you next time!

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