“Tea Sugar in dream”
“Say it quickly, you’ll have it”
Many, many evil eyes. Every street, corner, wrist, ear, home.
Sigh! Now all I hold are snippets of memories. Like Mehmet says.
C'est la vie, baby.
Anadolu Kavagi. Last stop on the Asian side of the Bosporus Strait. A 20 TRL ferry ride will get you there, leave you to roam around for three hours and brings you back by 3 PM. You can walk to the castle on top, which although good exercise, does not offer much to see. It was nice to sit at the Yosun restaurant by the sea though and have some yummy Calamari and tea. The Asian side is greener, less 'developed' and you can eye spy the Black Sea.
Buyukada. It was a Saturday. The ferry would have almost toppled over with the number of jostling visitors. It was a carnival. Flower bands, Mado ice cream, cycling teens, screaming kids. If you want to do just one Bosphorus ride, do this one and get to the Prince’s Islands. Enjoy the fat, white, screeching seagulls flying along.
Eyüp. I had been toying between going here and Ortaköy (to have the original Kumpir). Finally, just because I knew the bus number, I opted for the former. I wasn’t disappointed. Serene and residential, it’s a great peak at local life. No tourists.
Well, thank God, I am not tall and blonde. Not much untoward male attention (which wasn’t already welcome). But for one bad incident at Sirkeci tram stop, where the guy at the information booth refused to help me (Was I supposed to imagine that the Tram ‘Joten’ or tokens were sold in the little shop next to it), people have been exceptionally nice.
Two incidents I will remember.
She was Fethiye.
The hamam was not top of my list. But it would feature in my new top 5 things to do in Turkey. I was a bit shy to begin with; it is a communal bath after all. But the lady purging my grime was such comfort and she put so much effort into it. Almost motherly. Two hours of absolute bliss.
He was Fahre.
I was at Eyüp waiting. I just knew one way to get back to Sultanahmet via Eminönü. I’d already let one bus pass by, alarmed at how crowded it was. He was standing at the side, just the two of us. Red striped sweater. Cute.
“Which bus are you waiting for?”
“99A to Eminönü, And you?”
“I need to go to Sultanahmet”
God send. ”Me too. But how does one get there directly. I just know the 99A”
“One can take a bus to Beyazit square. Sultanahmet is close. Are you here for business or as tourist?”
“Tourist actually. Today is my last day” Wistful.
A very crowded bus comes by. He nods. This is it.
So, I get in hanging at the door like in Mumbai buses. Atleast, it has a door.
Luckily for me, he was the perfect gentleman. I get escorted in, sit before anyone else on the next empty seat, get dropped to Beyazit square.
“We get down here. That’s the way you should take to reach Sultanahmet, behind the blue building”
So, drinking with young Zaid, while old German couples on their second honeymoon came and went. I was much entertained. And giddy.
Until the sun set and it was time to go.