Saturday, January 12, 2013

Some Random Things I Love about Istanbul

  • Fluent Turkish is such a smooth but textured language 
  • -that Turkey is divided into two sides: the Asia and the Europe sides. It's the same thing I love about Shanghai, except cooler
  • Riding the ferry is not a tourist attraction but a normalized means of transportation that also takes the bus card for payment
  • Tea. All the time. 
  • Clubbing/bar music -so superior to the US in every way
  • I love how Turkey is not littered with Western chain establishments. During my time here so far I've seen maybe 5 fastfood restaurants from the U.S. 
  • Real Turkish coffee
  • "Pasta" in Turkish means "birthday cake" 
  • One thing I am so in love with is the color of all the buildings that line the streets on the Europe side. They have this frayed- pastel look that is old, but authentic and vibrant at the same time. They completely add to the entire environment and atmosphere I think.
  • Making Turkish friends at the clubs 
  • When it rains in Berkeley, it makes me miserable. Yet on and off showers in Turkey for some reason are perfectly manageable and do not subtract anything from the entire experience, even though I forgot to bring an umbrella.
  • Turkish streets are like mazes. There are narrow streets of stone that weave into another in an endless pathway that will eventually lead you throughout the entire city. Each street is lined with different cafes, shops, restaurants and what have you. Some are especially intimate, but no less busy or populated. Even the smallest side streets that are the most easy to miss, end up being just as bustling as some of the major roads. Forgive me for not being able to adequately describe the entire environment or do it any justice. 
  • Winter season has made the tourist spots less crowded and therefore much more enjoyable. Rather than being shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers from around the world, we get to marvel at all the sites we visit and take our time absorbing everything we see. 
  • The "allzah" religious music plays throughout the entire city via speakers during the times of prayer. Although not Muslim, something about the religion being so deeply permeated into society adds so much more meaning

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