Istanbul Trip

I bring you this post from the comfort of my rahat (comfortable) bus back to Ankara. Now I know I said I wanted to save myself 5 lira on my trip to Istanbul by not riding rahat but it was only option for when I wanted to go back and let’s just say I am not disappointed but rather it will be difficult to book normal buses from now on. Those extra 5 liars got me a much larger leather seat, a USB plug slot to charge my phone off of, wooden floors, I repeat wooden floors! The chance to watch “Because I Said So” in Turkish and a very strong wifi connection. So awesome – I’m a tad but in bus trip heaven.

My trip to Istanbul was to get my apartment squared away – and I did so mission accomplished. I did have fun in the city too though.

After arriving around 10pm to my hostel on Friday all I wanted was a shower. The hostel delivered. Speaking of – Bada Bing I can recommend it as a good place to book (granted of course if you are not coming when I’ll be there because I will gladly put you up). Some of the cool things were the digital lockers under the beds, the clean bathrooms, the rooftop terrace where tons gather at night and the outgoing backpackers that seem to be drawn here.

The most outgoing happened to be the gentlemen I shared the mix dorm with my first night. In a room of 10 I happened to be the only gal amongst a whole bunch of guys (or should I say mates since the majority were from Australia??)

When I came to bed around midnight after chilling on the rooftop terrace I was greeted by one of them warning and apologizing that they were headed out early so may wake me up. It then led to them all talking to each other from the confines of their own bunks in the dark about their travels and at one point I just couldn’t hold the laughter in anymore because everything they were saying was striking a true note. So there I was with a whole bunch of Aussies laughing about travels and sharing stories or ad they called it “talking smack” It was similar to my times spent chilling with my undergrad guy friends with the only difference being the accents and the inclusion of a few bizarre words.

Saturday woke up and headed to meet the gal I will be subleasing from. She was super sweet as are my two future roommates. The apartment is good with the one downfall being the non-existent stove. I am trading places with my friend Allyce and going to be living a life of hot-plate cooking. This will get interesting….

Then I met up with Flora who I met during my travels a few weeks ago in Cappadocia – she jay so happened to be in Istanbul for the day between flights. We met up and put our own spin on touring the city which meant a more laid back feel while still doing tourist things. She had already seen the main sights as had I so we had an open agenda. From eating fish sandwiches to going down memory lane road for me of my trip to Istanbul 3.5 years ago we somehow filled the day and even made a new friend by the name of Nuh.

Nuh approached us outside the main Turkish bath in hopes to draw us into his family’s establishment but Flora and I were not interested. Mums – coincidental connections being made so I can honor your request of going to a bath during your visit!

Nonetheless we all continued to talk and it resulted in him inviting us to dinner after the sunset call to prayer. He gave me directions so I could find my parents hotel for September and directions to a shoe store so we could get Flora into some real shoes (hers had lost a sole) – not acceptable – haha. So there I am chatting with the shoe guys – one even said I was too small to be American because all Americas are “Big, BIg, BIG”. Haha and teaching others the word pair instead of “pieces”. When asked if we needed a bag we instead said to trash out her old pair – this gave the guy a good laugh. Then we figured heck we might as well go back and meet him (Nuh) for dinner. He paid and it was a nice dinner. Got to meet his cousin too. The plan was to go to a bar in Taksim but somehow with chilling outside Aya Sofya and Blue Mosque and taking pictures with the light up fountain and picking up other Americans along the way – by the time we were on the tram it was close to 1 so I decided to part ways because was exhausted and had things to do Sunday. Not to mention was unsure on how I would’ve gotten home because all public transportation stops at 1 and expensive taxis are one thing I try to avoid.

Sunday too was a good day – woke up and went for a nice run along the Bosphorous. Passed one other runner – he gave me the thumbs up – I think I probably looked like a smiling fool afterwards. The runner wave warms my heart, but sheesh a thumbs up!!! I’ll take it – one day I’ll get a high five from a random runner and that will just be a grand day!

I then went to the apartment of a family I may babysit for if my class schedule works out with the little girl’s schedule. The family is Turkish but just moved from the US and thus want their daughter to still get English language practice since she speaks Turkish with her parents and French in school. This little girl is going to be a language rockstar and not to mention she was adorable.

So all in all a fantastic trip. Making me excited to move there in a short 23 days! Boy time sure does fly when you are living your life (:

Cheers from a road somewhere between Istanbul and Ankara