Posts Tagged ‘Ankara’

Goodbyes have never been my forte. I’m a crier plain and simple. Goodbyes for me are often punctuated with tears, sniffles and the occasional snot bubble. Saying goodbye to Istanbul and the people I have come to care for there was no exception. I never expected it to be so hard to leave. Perhaps because I never expected to love Istanbul as deeply as I do. Istanbul has changed me, taught me, and helped me to grow. Saying goodbye left my heart aching and my eyes puffy and red. I will be forever grateful for the experiences I had and the people I met and loved.

Returning to Los Angeles has been difficult. It really hit me for the first time as I was standing on the curb at LAX, waiting for my friend to pick me up, that I am not in Istanbul anymore. It hurts my heart. The pain of leaving the city that I have come to love so dearly to return to a city that I have never liked leaves me feeling a deep sadness. I can’t tell you how many times I have looked at a clock and expected to here a Call ring out across the city or the Ramazan drums booming up and down the streets. I miss Istanbul something fierce.

I take comfort in the fact that I know in my heart that this is not the end for Istanbul and I. I will return and when I do, it will be to stay. And I remind myself that returning to Los Angeles gives me the opportunity prepare for that reunion. Goals have been set, actions are being taken and inquiries have been made, all in the name of going home to Istanbul. It will happen. My heart tells me so.

The Blue Mosque. One of the most heavily touristed mosques in Istanbul that is still used as a place of prayer.

Istikal. The major shopping promenade located in the neighborhood of Taksim. This was taken around 2am so it was unusually quiet. At anytime during the day there are thousands of people walking up and down this street.

This is a hot air balloon located in Kadaköy on the asian side of Istanbul. It takes you 200m into the air for a panoramic view of the city. Unfortunately it was too windy to operate during my time in Istanbul.

One of the things  I love about Istanbul is that the city is filled with music. This guy was performing on the street in Ankara.

One of things I don’t like about Istanbul is the disregard shown towards the disabled. Often disabled people are used as “props” on the streets (frequently by friends or family members) in order to beg for money.  This blind man was sitting alone, outside of a bar off of Istikal, drinking an muttering to himself. Nobody seemed to even notice that he was there.

I saw this little girl as I was sitting in a sidewalk cafe drinking tea. Unfortunately I wasn’t fast enough to catch a shot of her face. She was adorable. This was taken without me even looking through my camera. My camera was sitting on the table in front of me when I clicked the shutter.  I know it’s not sharp, but I still like it.

View of Sultanahmet taken from a ferry crossing the Bosphorus.

Another shot taken from my perch in the window of my hostel room.

The Bosphorus.

The Boy and I on our last day together. Tearful goodbyes followed.

Museum of Ethnography in Ankara. Playing with Depth of Field. Also might want to note that this pocketwatch was behind glass.

Ataturk’s Mausoleum in Ankara.

My classmate and friend Liv.

The cistern in Sultanahmet.

A playful little girl. She got a little freaked out when she noticed I was taking her picture.

More fun with depth of field at the Museum of Ethnography in Ankara.

View from Galata.

The AyaSofya. Once a mosque. Now a museum.

Museum of Ethnography in Ankara.

Heart Balloons.

AyaSofya

The Galata Tower

I shot this around 2am on a side street off of Istikal. Not sure what this little boy was roasting. He is one of thousands of children seen working the streets in Istanbul at all hours of the day or night.

I just liked the color of this boat.

The changing of the guards at Ataturk’s tomb. This is the only time you will see the guards move. Once they are in their stationed spot, they remain perfectly still. I was told that they even inject some sort of drug in order to stay so still…

Along the coast of Asia.

Take from it what you will…

A couple of Muslim women enjoying the breeze on the Bosphorus.

My heart belongs to Istanbul.

Peace and Love.

Our adventure began this afternoon as we made our way, by cab, to the Otogard (Bus Station). The plan was to meet up with some friends and head to Ankara (the capital city of Turkey) for the weekend. But our plans, as they often do, went awry and my classmate and I wound up at a different station than the friends we were meeting.  This would only have been a minor complication had our friends not been holding our tickets for the bus. After some very confusing conversations with the Bus Station employees, we finally found the one employee that spoke enough english to understand the problem. However, by that time, our bus had left. Finally, after many phone calls and  some strained and broken communication, we got it all figured out and my classmate and I were on our way to Ankara. We ended up having to ride on a bus separate from our friends, but it was a small matter compared to the effort it took to actually get on the bus.

And then the real fun began. My classmate and I ended up siting in the most opportune of seats… between and row full of women with unruly, screaming toddlers and a row full of incredibly nasty and rude women. Joy. It was gonna be a long bus ride. Luckily, the bus was big and comfy and we spent our time munching on snacks, talking sh@t to each other, and snoozing. One thing that I am really happy to report is that I didn’t get motion sick like I normally do!  Anyway, 7+ hours later, we arrived in Ankara and were greeted by our friends.

We made our way home to one of our friend’s parents, where we are staying for the weekend, and were greeted warmly by her family. It was 12am, but her mother had cooked for us and had a huge spread laid out on the table. Indulgence. Home cooked Turkish food, tea and cake for dessert, her mom went all out. Everything was delicious. After we ate, we sat out on the balcony and smoked, our bellies feeling full and content and talked. What a beautiful way to start our time in Ankara.

I have only been here for a couple of hours, but I have already noticed that Ankara is a whole new world in comparison with Beşiktas, where I am currently living. It is quiet here. The night is still with an occasional disruption from a car driving by. There are no booming fireworks or the far off music of a nearby waterfront bar. Ankara seems to actually sleep at night.

Since we got in so late, I can’t really comment on the city except to say that it feels more spread out, it looks more modern and the air here is dry and cooler. Tomorrow the exploration begins and I look forward to what Ankara has in store for us. But now, considering that it is after three in the morning, the big comfy couch is calling my name.

Peace and Love