Saturday, May 28, 2011

What I like about living in Istanbul, Turkey

The variety of fruits and vegetables. Almost everything grows within the limits of the country and although I would be surprised if no pesticides were used to grow at least some of them, I do believe the total amount is far less than elsewhere. 

Turkish breakfast. (Again with the food, eh?) I have already professed my love for simit (like a dozen times), but I didn’t mention the bread and the olives. I do now: those olives and that bread with some of that white cheese… Yummy mummy! Best served at home, but do try some places for breakfast around Beşiktaş.

Colors. Istanbul has to be the most colorful city I have set my foot in. Red flags, yellow cabs, grey and pale red mosques, blue strait and seas, green palms, firs and poplars to name a few. All of that thrown in together makes for a vivid palette.

Emotions. This is both positive and negative. When I’m feeling low-key and go shopping on some central market or I’m walking down a touristy street, the last thing I want is the vendors to scream as if trying to save their lives thus advertising their goods or hosts to offer me their overpriced menu in high pitch. But other than that, interaction between people is almost always emotional and a nice to watch. From the side. Mostly no Turkish languages skills are needed to understand. 

Sights. Well… What can I say. Istanbul is a city of many, many hills and climbing most of them is a bit of a challenge, but once you’re out there on top, you can see Istanbul as plain as the nose on your face. Another nice view is from the side of Üsküdar (best at night), when you stand directly before the Maiden’s Tower and Sultanahmet is right behind it across the water. Sigh. It’s worth living just to see that, my friends. Or as you’re passing the always busy Bosphorus bridge, glance left and right to be amazed by the natural beauty that is the Bosphorus straight and Asia and Europe.

Water. The Marmara Sea, the Bosphorus Strait, the Black Sea. If there’s one thing Turkey’s unofficial capital doesn’t lack, it is water sources. Cozy cafes by the water are the best, too. Try some in Beylerbeyi or Çengelköy, they are so people-friendly, they actually let you bring your own breakfast and only order coffee or tea. All that for minimal prices and unbeatable views.

Ferries. In a hectic city like Istanbul, seeking tranquility might be pointless. However, it is right here. No matter what water route or direction you take, rest assured that it will be a slow-paced ride (sometimes so relaxing that it makes you doze off). Plus, those views are still there. All for less than 2TL per person.


Maria said...

Hey, I passed your comment on to Bing about not having to wear a dress to the mosque and she was relieved. The mosques that she visited in Africa were all insistent that dresses be worn by women and she figured that might be the case in Berlin as well, so she was going to bring a dress just to be safe. She was so pleased to know that she does NOT have to wear a dress, so thanks! I can't tell you how FUNNY she looks in a dress....

True story said...

I'm glad if I could be of help. Like I said, mostly you have to remove your shoes and sometimes cover your head. Oh, and of course not naked shoulders, but I guess that's common for any religion institution.

Tom Watson said...

Looks interesting, ill be sure to check it out. Cheap property in Turkey

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