Today was my birthday, here in Istanbul, but nothing to do. Ho Ho.
I was asked to go to the training school (NLPGrup) to complete a certificate, and that is on the Eastern side of Istanbul, and I am staying on the Western near Taxim Tunel.
Istanbul is in two parts, the Eastern and Western sides, with the Bosphorus dividing the two, being the border between Asia and Europe, with about 13 million residents.
The journey across the Bosphorus takes about twenty minutes, and it is a time to relax, to take in the sights either side, the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia Mosque (The Pink Mosque), and many old palaces.
Today it was so grey, cold and with driving rain as the photographs show, but inside the ferry I was warm.
The Bosphorus links the Aegean, the Med to the Black Sea, and ships all shapes and sizes of all countries carrying different cargoes pass through this narrow passage. To sit and watch the passing of these ships on the bank of the Bosphorus eating a Kumpir (hot jacket potato, filled with various filings) and a Turkish coffee brings to you how small our world is.
The one Turkish characteristic which does get at me sometimes, is the wish to be first. OK, I’m British, and we British are a nation of queuers, if there are more than three people in a line, we will join the line, knowing nothing of why we are waiting. But, the Turkish people just push in front, that also happens with the driving, especially the taxis.
Yet the people are so nice. They will take time to talk to you. I had a great conversation with my taxi driver on the way home tonight, trouble was my fare went up from the usual 6 lira to 10. Oh Poo Poo. Perhaps the traffic was very bad, or as the taxi drivers say:-
“Istanbul, traffic, problem.”
Yes traffic is the same the world over, London, Paris, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur.
So early to bed, I am told that Sky TV wants to interview me tomorrow.
Now that’s another day.