I enjoy going back to places I have been before, particularly those like Istanbul which are just too big to fully appreciate or understand in one trip. Heck I’m fairly certain a place like Istanbul would need more than a lifetime to do that properly.
This trip around being Eid, and being off from my classes (There are two Eids celebrated by Muslims, Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha), I decided to try to visit Istanbul once again since I had friends living there this time around. It was odd I probably wouldn’t have made it back this time had it not been for them being there, two of which I had met in my previous trip to Jordan. One of the best aspects of travel and living abroad is having these global friendships. It is also one of the best ways to “travel like a local” if you have someone who is familiar and living in those regions.
It’s a bit of an extension of the original trip to Jordan, one of the toughest parts of coming back was that all my friends had since left. Well maybe not all but most of them. Getting out to see them again was a highlight, making sure these friendships weren’t simply just a one off occurrence. The other aspect of all the travel are all those goodbyes, the ones you constantly say to all those people that pass through on the road. it’s sorta funny, I tend to think of travel as life compressed. You so many cycles of friendships, hellos, goodbyes, loves, disappointment in such a short period of time. You can become best friends with someone you just met and then the next day you have to say goodbye. I always think that goodbyes will get easier, and in some ways they do. But in others senses it gets harder as it repeats itself continuously. So this time being able to say hello again and see if they take off where they left off is a great view of these friendships in general.
Arriving in Turkey was amazing, seeing my friend at the airport, trying to get back situated to the city. Noticing the small little changes, like the metro cards in addition to the confusing token system for the metro. For those who may not have yet to visit Istanbul, the metro system has tokens that are used in each of the metro lines. However none of them are compatible with any of other lines. So if you buy a light rail token you need a different token for the ferry or the underground or the funicular tram. Yup…who the heck thought up that system!
The hotel (Taksim Istanbul Apart) was nice, clean and really well located. The folks working there were Kurdish whom also spoke Arabic which we found was the only language in common with us. My friend, surprised me with his language skills able to speak a few works in Kurdish as well (He speaks Arabic, (Fusha, Hassaniya, Jordanian), English, and Turkish (and I think learning Spanish as well). It’s amazing how folks in other countries make me feel embarrassed for language skills of Americans. It is really a terrible issue and one that puts us at a disadvantage internationally (even if English is the language of business around the world). Beyond losing my bag …again (second time this trip already!), I have a feeling this time will be good.
I’m hoping to try to write shorter stories in this series at least. Hopefully it will allow me the ability to write them quicker. There is a lot to share, photos, stories, etc., and I plan to do so between here and Instagram as well.