Istanbul – Real
I went to Istanbul with great expectations for a rich journey. I anticipated delving deep into a diverse culture, a wild experience that would almost enlighten me. I came back invigorated and happy, it was a wonderful trip, but I still think it could have been better.
Asia has always been alluring to me, to switch between the two continents with the metro, which goes under the water for not more than five minutes was to me a formidable experience. I saw flowers and technology, I went high and low, I travelled on a ship, I ate local food and I drank Turkish coffee, I heard things I loved and things I hated. Needless to say I was moved, but still I think it could have been better.
Unfortunately, you cannot trot about Istanbul by yourself. You travel with a group of strangers, although very amicable and polite. Chances are you will also travel with some people you hold dear, but in the Group, they cannot pay much attention to you. The Group moves at a constant hectic pace, instructed the entire time by the tour guide. You don’t really communicate with anyone else, but the guides during the tour. You hardly have a time to exchange a word, and that is unfortunate for a communicative Gemini. The trip is not interactive, it’s like watching a TV show.
Luckily all of us fell in love with our tour guide – Nazmie. Nazmie knows Istanbul well, she speaks excellent Bulgarian, she is very open-minded and she believes all of us have one God, we only call him by different names. She wears her white hair short, and wears no veil. She was an inspiration to the entire group – we felt like a class guided by our favorite teacher.
Museums are all dead. I like living, sizzling culture. I don’t care to know, how and when a building was built, when it was burned, who paid for its restoration, I don’t want to know. I am not interested in objects, but rather in people. Their stories are much more fascinating to me. People are mostly interested in facts and information, as I said I am most enchanted by communication.
It could have been better. But how?
Never visit a foreign city without bringing in some romance.
Istanbul – Imagined
I am quite certain in a past life I have been a concubine of a sultan. Like a veiled woman, I often lower my gaze and do not look at men straight in the eyes, rather at the level of their T-Shirts. Oh, the inscriptions on human T-Shirts!
So next time I go to Istanbul, I will be equipped with a boyfriend. Both of us will walk in Istanbul, holding hands, carrying with us napkins for our happy tears, walking really close to each other, anticipating intimacy.
My boyfriend is so handsome, veiled women ogle at him. He speaks Turkish fluently and he knows a lot of cultural particularities, for he has studied in a Turkish University. He is curious, polite, communicative and passionate about diverse cultures.
I believe Istanbul with its sultry climate will inspire great passions in us.
We will visit the places of worship, and he will tell me how he meditates on angels. He has a small room for meditation in his house, a personal altar adorned with different pictures of enlightening and beautiful beings.
He is also a painter and mosaics strike him straight in the heart. He is a born prince, grown in luxury, very mannerly, so affluence does not surprise him, he was raised in splendor.
We will definitely drink Turkish coffee in the restaurant of the ship that is going to take us along the Bosphorus. We will definitely go to a Turkish bath for a massage. He will photograph me among the tulips in the park. His brilliant sense of humor will keep me fresh and invigorated.
My boyfriend makes the best pastry in the world. Since he knows the secrets of Istanbul chefs, he takes me where the most wonderful food is. We stroll in the Grand Bazaar, where we buy saffron for our cooking events and souvenirs for our friends. We will try every local cuisine specialty, but we will mostly feed by looking in each other’s sparkling eyes.