Whenever in Taksim, I try stop by Beyoglu Sahaflar Carsisi. It’s a 2 level place of bookstores piled high with pre-read books, magazines, and even a few movie posters. Today I bypassed pages like a Turkish printing of Donald Trump: Art of the Deal, and Frommer’s Europe for Five Dollars a Day (when was THAT printed?). I opted for a nice copy of Mevlana’s Mesnevi along with a Capadoccia travel guide for our roadtrip this weekend.
Personally I hate travelling on the sea. It is not fear but rather respect to the water. Water is unkindly powerful and could make me vanish in a second if it wanted to.
Yesterday I had to go to Bandırma and as I did not really wanted to drive, I decided to take the seabus. Keeping the conditions of the normal city liners in my mind (they are great, so lovely but rather old, let’s be honest on that!), I was not really expecting much from the seabus. All in all it is a two hours journey.
Last Autumn, my wife and I were walking in a place called the Grove in Hollywood (California). The Grove is much like Taksim- no cars, only walking, full of shops, restaurants, and movie theaters. But unlike Taksim, the Grove is just a few years old and everything is artificial, with absolutely no history. We walk around the corner by the Apple Store and bump! We walk straight into Turkey’s most famous popstar, Tarkan. He was as surprised to hear 2 merhabas, as we were to see him a universe away from Turkey. We chat a bit, trade numbers, then call our nieces and nephews in Turkey about our brush with fame. And by the way, he’s a nice guy too.
3 times this past week, I’ve met friends in front of the Burger King on Istiklal Caddesi. It’s a great place to meet- everyone knows where it is- the Burger King name is pounded into the heads of nearly everyone on the planet.
Recently i’ve been thinking about writing on the subject Raki, though its history is easy to find for the curious mind. So i’ve decided to focus on how to drink it, as every liquor has its own ritual. But then again, there are many ways of consuming Raki as many as the people who consume it. (For instance, during my first experiences drinking the brew, due to the heavy smell of anise, i had preferred drinking it without water. As i got used to, i started to pour water and then add my ice cubes.) I am not an expert on the matter so I am going to paraphrase an expert.
sleeping in the forest – sait faik (maybe you should check out the bookstores, if you are anti- online-shopping-person, greenhouse on anatolian side or robinson crusoe, pandora bookstores on european side.)
I was a bit surprised to see Clear Channel’s logo on several Istanbul bus stops recently. I used to think Istanbul was a long way from Texas (how silly of me).
Beware of your your next withdrawal from an ATM machine. We were in Eminonu last week, about to take cash from the Garanti ATM (just the other side of the tunnel walkway) and I noticed the card just didn’t feel right going into the machine.
Some Istanbul clips from the past year- some old and some from this week. Remember when Taksim had trees?!