The best thing about visiting a different city than that you live in is the instant change of air and sight. Istanbul is in this sense a mini heaven. It cant be said in amy other way. The smell of rose and all the fresh herbs the use abundantly on their cuisine, the array of colours mini mountains of different spices in the market all this closely guarded by the Turkish eye which stares at you in every corner.
If warm hospitality and fancy food served with the amazing okuzguzu wine, then they have a 3km long street from the famous Taksim square to an end I didn’t bother to reach, rather my wallet would not let me reach. Pity. And Turkey is in the awkward position of having a “Christmas” Sale without observing the holiday since it is a muslim dominated/founded country. You could buy anything from GAP jogging pants to all shades of denim, from fantastic lamb leather shoes and jackets locally made to Zara feather filled jackets, the options are endless.
There is how ever one thing to not about Turkish people. They are so very polite and will make all possible effort to communicate to you in English and some even in you native language. Restaurants are cozy, service is friendly and they always seem to me like they genuinely care about you enjoying your stay. Quick to recommend the cheaper option and reassure you that quality of whatever service will be granted. However, I cant remember seeing a genuine hearty smile from any of those I interacted with. There is a general melancholy to Turkish writers. They are amazing thinkers, very logical with a touch of philosophical wisdom in their conversation. Orhan Pamuk refers to this as `Huzun`. A sort of sadness for being between two worlds. They do not want to be called asia, not really, but they also do not fit the western style. Not with such good food, pun intended. I have talked to several of them about the construction In the city, the number of Malls the government sees are fit for this city. I mean haven’t they got enough shopping options, and all of them smurk, “Capitalism”.
You will never run of sites to visit, restaurants to dine and loads of history about the city is still hovering over it like a friendly ghost. An old mosque here, a church turned into a mosque and if that isn’t enough, the residential buildings have clearly outlived their initial owners great grandchildren. I cant wait for when I will be able to go back to that city with my friends and show them my exotic get away. Take them to wher I learnt about wine, the little kitchen where the owner willingly gave her amazing recipe. I bet she know that even if we will still remember it when we get home, it will not taste as good as hers.