And Then Istanbul

It’s been a little while since our last post (our apologies for this, Sue, but we haven’t heard from you in a long time, either!). Some of you may be curious what we’ve been up to since our airport dash in Oslo.

We arrived late evening at the Istanbul airport and made it through customs easily. Being that this was our first time traveling to a Muslim country we were curious to observe any differences. Austin was a little worried about the dress code, not wanting to offend anyone with her bare legs and arms. Then David looked to his left and saw a woman wearing extra-high heels and the world’s shortest skirt. To his right he noted another woman wearing a shirt that left her entire belly exposed. Oddly we were comforted by these sights and decided our clothing was likely not a concern to anyone.

Austin asked for directions from the airport to our hostel near Taksim Square and we set off in an air-conditioned bus. Istanbul is hot and busy and crowded and we were both feeling a little shy and pretty put off by the large swarms of tourists. We spent four low-key days in Istanbul walking around and locating good coffee spots. One day we ventured a little farther in search of a recommended cafe and walked over a busy bridge full of fishermen, through a spice bazaar, past vendors, zooming scooters, a university and a mosque. We bought fresh black figs from an old man for about 75 cents/pound and had some Turkish coffee in a cute and quiet cafe. The next day we found an especially lovely coffee shop near our hostel and spent the whole day sipping, relaxing, reading, listening to music and enjoying the sun, the little street view and the cafe’s resident cat.

Though there is a lot of the city we haven’t yet seen, Istanbul felt in some ways like any big city. Overwhelming, bustling, chaotic, impersonal and a little difficult to get inside of without knowing any locals. That being said, there is a lot that makes Istanbul special and unlike any other place (giant mosques, colorful bazaars, calls to prayer, the daily peaceful demonstrations). We’re looking forward to returning again in the next few months to continue our coffee tour, plan an itinerary and spend time with new friends who live there.

After four days in Turkey’s largest city we headed back to the airport for a short flight to Izmir to meet our new WorkAway hosts and begin the next adventure. More coming soon!



11 thoughts on “And Then Istanbul

  1. Unforgiveable that you haven’t heard from me in a long time (I didn’t realize it was a “long” time – that old saying about how time goes fast when you’re having fun is so true for TIPark). Can’t believe it’s Labor Day tomorrow and the legal end of summer (we are illegal so Labor Day doesn’t count for us). Anyway, still LOVE your postings and devour them as soon as they arrive in the in box so be sure to have only short times between your communications! We love you both. Sue (and Doug, of course!)
    PS. I now will rush over to the atlas to see where Izmir is…

    • Glad to hear you are illegal so summer can continue for you there! No doubt you are enjoying every last drop. And when the end of TIP arrives, the good news is that means a trip to Portland for you!
      We are relieved to hear that you still like our work. For a minute there we were concerned that we’d lost you forever! (Not really.)
      Love to you and Doug from us both.

  2. Turkish coffee, what a strong special delight. Not to mention, fresh turkish figs. YUM What kind of food ya’ll been eating there??
    Hugs and Loves

    • Yes, the figs and coffee are special treats and we are indulging! Lately we are eating a lot of fresh produce like cucumber-tomato-parsley salads and melons. Also fresh cheeses from the marketplace, olives galore, and last night David learned to make stuffed aubergine and stuffed grape leaves. Yum!
      I’ve been reading a bit about eating to support the endocrine system lately, which has been so fascinating. Many times I wish you were around so we could chat about it. I’d love your TCM (or is it CCM? I always mix them up) perspective on some of this stuff. Missing you,

  3. Hey you two !! Good to hear your’e safe and sound in Turkey! Just back in the Apartment for a few minutes checking the mail and paying bills. Today a letter to Austin arrived – please send me Your New address so I can forward the letter!

    Stay cool!

    Gunnar & gang wish you ther best!

    • Hi Gunnar!

      Nice job staying away from that computer for so long.
      Thank you for offering to forward the letter! Our current address is:

      c/o Köksal
      1402 sok 4 daire 9
      Izmir Türkiye

      We still think fondly of our time with you and Lise in Norway. Tussen takk for all your generosity and for helping to make our experience so special.

      Talk to you soon!

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