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The Amateur Wanderer That night I dreamt of being deported from Ukraine and forced to flee to Belarus. Since then I promised to travel more. Yeah it was random. This is an honest journal of an amateur traveler.

'Turkish Delight'

TURKEY | Thursday, 27 June 2013 | Views [715] | Comments [2]

Istanbul sky changed its clear blue color into nautical dusk. It would only take a few minutes before day became night, I assumed. However, from my window room I could still see the orangey light faded away at the horizontal line of Bosphorus, the strait connecting Black Sea in the north and Sea of Marmara in the south of Istanbul. Cruises full of tourists yet went sailing on this channel to appreciate the beauty of Asian and European sides of Istanbul all at once. Seemingly the sun had completed his chore for the day and the stars were about to take over the rest of the night.

For us muslims, this also means the time for evening prayer. I rushed out of the hotel as soon as I heard the call to prayer from several mosques as if they shouted to each other. They sounded as beautiful as the sirens of Aegean Sea I imagined, so compelling. But in reality muezzins were nothing like sirens at all. A chilly wind slowly touched my neck and bare arms when I set my feet on the turkish paving slabs. It had to be Zephyrus, the Greek god of the west wind, I thought. But I did not mind. I kept my jacket folded in my bag. I did not feel like wearing it. I just wanted to feel the night breeze of Turkey spring.

With less than 12 hours I had left in the city, I decided to have some alone time to wander around. I sauntered down Ordu Street and kept following the tramlines as I was told earlier by the hotel receptionist that it would probably be the best to walk on the main streets and avoid narrow streets at night. It was not the most friendly neighborhood I presumed. Laleli neighborhood was quite different from the rest of Istanbul. I could barely see the remains of Byzantine or Ottoman empires there. They were replaced by plenty of modern shops named in russian with word скидка (discount) on their display windows. Most stores had been closed since six in the afternoon. But it was the street merchants who eagerly offered their knock-off Ralph Lauren polo shirts or branded watches to the pedestrians. I successfully escaped from them.

The night was still young and people passed me by. Yet sometimes they looked at me in curiosity. I was easily recognized as a tourist for sure. After walking for quite some time, I was reaching to the end of Ordu Street until a man startled me. He asked me if I had a match. I thought it was weird as I clearly have never lit a cigarette, besides not far from where he approached me there were two men smoking and chatting merrily. I was not as suspicious of what he had in mind until he offered me something that took me by surprise. The words 'club', 'massage' and 'for men only' brought me back to my consciousness. Gravity seemed to hold my feet momentarily. But I rejected both of his offers to go to the 'so-called-club' and the 'so-called-massage place'. Without further ado, I grabbed my bag closely, accelerated my pace and crossed the street. I took a glance, and he was still there.

I trudged on my way back to the hotel. It was the same street, only now I walked on the other side. But somehow the route felt shorter than before. I was following the yellowish light dispersed on the paving slabs until I saw this small café on the corner of a street that looked familiar. I stopped by and odered a cup of turkish coffee. I took a long and deep breath, intended to keep the night air of Turkey in my lungs. I took a sip of my coffee and enjoyed my last night in Istanbul. What a night.

Tags: istanbul, night, on the road

 

Comments

1

I like the way you describe in your writings! I get the pictures in my head and it is as if I was there watching you :) Jadi itu tempat pijet plus-plus gitu ya? A small request, posting foto juga dong :P

  ilsssa Jun 29, 2013 10:54 PM

2

@Ilsssa: I do appreciate your comment, I'm glad to know someone's enjoying my writings! Hahaha yes it is :D

  live-to-travel Jun 30, 2013 2:08 AM

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