Friday, June 17, 2011

Lost & Found

After my first day in Istanbul I’ve learned two things: 1) there are cats everywhere 2) strangers will stop and try to talk to you - in the hopes that you buy something or go to their mate’s bar....ok possibly I’ve learned more than two things, make that four things 3) that I’m going to gain at least 5 kgs with all this amazing food and 4) that Turks are not big planners.

My friend Myra is Japanese. Japan loves to plan. The Japanese guidebook for Turkey has even photos of traditional Turkish food so that travelers can point and they will know exactly what they are getting. Nothing is left to chance - diagrams with toilets and instructions on use of Turkish toilets (a hole in the ground) are also included.

She was telling me how she was loving living an unplanned life. She had been here a month to give it a go with her Turkish boyfriend. Things were going well...week by week. In Turkey, there is not much planning (this could be evident by the traffic jams).

But what there is a lot of is passion and living....and sometimes that’s the best way to live...the best way to be happy. I spent the afternoon walking around my new neighborhood in Taskim. I’m really falling in love with Istanbul. After one day and one sunset over the phosphorus, I’m ready to stay here and live like a local. There is something magical and romantic about this city.

Taskim is up on a hill over looking the various waterways surrounding Istanbul on the European side. It is filled with amazing streets and hidden lanes full of restaurants, cafes and bars. You can hear live music and laughter...the sun peeps through the various streets so you can have a view of the sunset. Couples walk hand in hand around the cobblestone streets.

I found this amazing coffee shop in a building that looked 800 years old. I normally do not drink coffee as it makes me sick to my stomach but I had to have a Turkish coffee - that woke me up. I thought about what Myra said - how we spend our lives working on the perfect plan: education, career, partner, marriage, children, money...etc. Sometimes I think those without a plan are the ones really living...the crazy people on the street who do not conform to society’s planned plans.

Life is truly amazing and when you let yourself get lost sometimes you find the most wonderful thing...like the best Turkish coffee this side of Europe. Sometimes you have to get lost to start finding yourself.

2 comments:

  1. I'm so looking forward to visiting Istanbul. I haven't been there yet but I've heard the best... Where are your pictures?

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  2. i moved from Ankara(which is the capital city and quite planned city) for a job( this was just b4 moved to melbourne) and after i get used the city and its bustling life style i fell for it. when i came to melbourne i felt like i am not alive anymore(but i am fine now)... how long will you stay there... ps: if u stay too long u might wana live there:)

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