It has been a little over two weeks since we landed in Turkey. I find myself continuously having to take a moment of pause to come to realization that I am actually living, breathing, experiencing, in Istanbul.
The streets are absolutely filled with life. Musicians lining the building edges filling the air with melodic vibrations, simit and chestnut vendors on every corner, the hum of the locals enjoying time with their families and friends, and of course the ever intriguing architecture constantly changing, constantly refreshing the face of the city with new excitements to come. One second I am in Europe the next I am in Asia, this continues to baffle me. Ferrys in constant motion, moving crowds from one coastline to another, metros, funiculars, trams, buses, taxis, the city is a heart with veins pulsating life into its very core, systems connecting, outstretching, looping back into the main source. Istanbul is a well oiled machine with macro and micro working parts, communicating in harmony. Dipping a toe in the water at first, I am now standing waist deep in all of Istanbul’s glory. I enjoy the little things, going to my favorite bakery every morning trying my hand at Turkish, laughing with the ownersat my terrible pronunciations. I love walking down the streets scoping out familiarities, including people who seem to have the same travel route as me on a daily basis. Everything is so fresh, young, excited.
I had some friends come to visit me. It is one of the weirdest feelings to have people from home meet up with you in a foreign country, it is also one of the coolest feelings. I got to play expert for a day and show my friends around. At the same time I was secretly testing myself to see how well i truly have come to know Istanbul. At first I questioned wheather or not I was at the right ferry stop, where was it going to take me, having a moment of panic. and immediately after clarity. Who cares if we happen to take the wrong tram, we are in ISTANBUL, anywhere we end up will be new offering a unique and amazing experience. I did however know what i was doing and we ended up near Eminonu, where we made a large circle seeing Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Basilica Cisterns, and the Grand Bazaar. Our day was needless to say irreplaceable.
May the new memories continue to flourish!