I can’t believe a month has already passed since we arrived in Istanbul…. Time is flying by and I am loving every minute of it. This city is the more alive, busy, and chaotic then any place I have ever been! Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming trying to navigate and maneuver around thousands of Istanbulites, but thats just part of the fun. So far my favorite experiential thing to do is going to one of the three local towns to watch their team play. I have boughten one of each teams jerseys to support the team wherever I am going. The first one we went to was in Kadikoy when Fernerbahce played Galatasaray. I have been to so pretty wild sports events with even wilder fans, but Fernerbahce fans are by far the craziest I have ever witness! People consumed the streets huddled around any available TV broadcasting the game. Jack and I went there early enough to grab a table at a restaurant where we could root on the team and have a couple drinks. As the game ended we made sure to get out of there quick, luckily just in time, not before just missing getting caught up in a bar brawl. We ran out dodging flying plates and chairs, running away in laughter. All I have to say is Istanbulites love their futbol and their Raki, maybe a little too much! The next game we went to was in Besiktas. This atmosphere was much more enjoyable, and the fans seemed to be more “respectable”. Unfortunately they lost to Fernerbache, but the time viewing the game was great, and we didn’t have to dodge any plates on our way out!
Compared to Rome, I am enjoying istanbul much more, although I am starting to feel a bit like a caged rat. It seems like I have only scratched 2% of the surface, I need to go explore more of what this vast amazing place has to offer. I have seen too much of istiklal and Galata. On monday we have a whole day dedicated to the Belgrade forest which I am sooooo stoked for! One because it is a new place far from Beyolgu, but it is going to be so nice to be in green space surrounded by old trees. The goal for the rest of my time being here is to find and explore new places as much as possible. Use every bit a free time I have available to finding places that show me a different side of Istanbul and try to see it through a new lens. Also go to every futbol game that I can, and If I am lucky, actually go to a stadium game! I’ll keep my fingers crossed. 🙂