Merhaba everyone! I’m writing from our apartment here in the majestic city of Istanbul, Turkey. We arrived yesterday evening, touching down in the beautiful Ataturk airport, before packing all our luggage and ourselves into a fleet of vans. We drove through the winding massive highways, and quite literally watched as this massive city unfolded all around us. We settled in for the night after trying Islak hamburgers, which are simple burgers that are placed in a box and steamed, so that when they are served they are soggy, or wet. I was slightly nervous,but truth be told, they were fantastic!
A view of the city from the airplane.
Today we went out exploring with Ozayr and walked all around, through Taksim square, along the Istaklal, by the Galata tower, and the Galata Bridge. We crossed the Galata, to see the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sofia, and walk around the walls of the Topkapi Palace, before jumping on a ferry and taking a quick ride over to Asia. Yes Asia!!!!!!! Seriously! It’s right there!!!!!
I may have panicked. I think that has been one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced. We were just casually walking around, and Ozayr points out over the water and says, “There’s the Bosphorus Bridge. On the left end of it is Europe, and across it, on the right, that’s Asia.” I did a double take, and may have tripped on nothing but air. I stood and stared. I was completely dumbfounded. Before this trip, I had never been outside the United States, and now only a month later, here I am standing in Europe, staring at Asia. It’s spectacular, terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time.
Europe on the left, and Asia on the right!
On top of all the great things we have seen, I’m also proud to say I’ve been expanding my pathetic excuse of a diet. Back home, I’m perfectly content feasting on boxes of macaroni and cheese, frozen pizza (cheese only, of course), and chicken nuggets. I get queasy at the sight of vegetables, especially anything green, and I certainly can’t handle anything even remotely spicy.
The night of our drawing review, we went out to a Chinese buffet called Chopsticks, and I ate everything that passed in front of me! I have eel, tuna and salmon sushi, shrimp, pork and chicken dumplings, duck, tofu, and plenty of things that I couldn’t even begin to guess what they were. And then on our last night in Roma, I ate a fried baby octopus, as well as tiny fish! You could see their eyes still! Ahh! And the octopus was still fully formed, not cut up or deep-fried like kalamari. Today in Istanbul, I ate a sort of wrap called durum, which had beef, onions and a bunch of spices and herbs that I’m not familiar with. The beef was so spicy! I was gasping for air by the end of it, and my eyes were watering. But i’ll be damned if I’m not going to make this experience worth it. Do you hear that Istanbul? Here I come! It’s time to go big or go home. And I’m certainly not ready to go home yet!