November 20, 2017. Istanbul, Turkey.
I’d seen the day life of Istanbul, and that was a carnage of rug sales pitches. I’d seen the night life, and it appeared women were endangered. As much fun as another night trying to gather the personal space necessary to shuffle-dance in the epicenter of a room full of sweating dudes sounded, it seemed about time to move on. I bought a pound of Turkish Delight for all the people stateside who I’ve abandoned and caught a plane to Prague.
Here’s a quick retrospective on Istanbul that didn’t make it into my other posts:
All right, that’s my pictures folder. Everything else is from Prague, and that’ll be tomorrow’s, when I give the place a fair shot. I’ve been here since 2 PM yesterday and somehow managed to find only defunct Soviet blocs and Chinatown. Just as well, though; it was like 30 degrees and raining, and jet lag gave me a cold. Or quitting coffee. Or quitting cigarettes. Probably a combination thereof.
I’m not a smoker back home, but in Turkey it was unavoidable. Men, women, children, even the cats had adorable little Winstons hanging out of the corner of their mouths. I spent last night taking down a pack of Halls in the worst hostel I’ve ever been in, which I shared an Australian McMurray.
He told me he’d just got citizenship, then said he was staying at this hostel until he got himself settled.
“Congrats, but I don’t know if I’d choose this one long-term,” I said. There were 2 power outlets in a room with 14 beds. The room was 90 degrees, and the window wouldn’t open without falling in and shattering.
“Why? I love this place!”
“Everything’s broken here, man. As soon as I touch something, I don’t even have the chance to break it. It’s been broken.”
“You should’a seen it the other night!” he mumble-howled. “It was just packed full of people, right outta prison. Tear tattoos and knife scars and everything. Full-on predators, mate, they all just got released at the same time. One dude had to switch to another room because he got here, his bed was full of rat poison.”
“Maybe that’s it,” I said. “You’re an Australian. It makes you feel at home when everything is trying to kill you.”
He laughed, then broke one of the power outlets.
All right, that’s enough for now. I’m at the only breakfast place I could find, and the woman running it is obviously not thrilled that I’m here. I don’t know if she’s angry in general, or angry with me, but the turn of phrase that jumps to mind is “worn down”. I’ve been done with breakfast for 15 minutes, and if I stick around much longer I think she’ll turn up the awful 90s club music again.
Until next time.