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To Fall in Love with Istanbul

by terra (12/24/2005)

To Fall in Love with Istanbul

I think that everyone who has been in Istanbul even once, could not avoid falling in love with this fairy tale city and everybody does through his own way. I don't remember when and where I have felt it first.


Maybe it happened that bright and sunny day when I was looking up and taking in this effuse light, giving sense of lightness; or in the warm evening, when I was sitting in café at sea front of Ortakoy and listening the call to prayer spreading all over the city from all minarets, making me feel like I am in an eastern legend.


Maybe it happened at that moment when I saw it grand and inflexible, idly spreading along shores when I sailed on a boat along Bosporus; or when I saw through window of small cafe in Bakirkoy, its narrow and cozy side-street waking up.


Perhaps it happened at that moment, when I was dancing and singing at Musti entertainment at Taksim square. Maybe, when I stopped during a short pause to listen to the enigmatic violent melody through noise and sounds of different languages at the fish restaurant of Istiklal.


Or it happened when I saw a big cart full of strawberries for 1.5 ytl per kilogram first time in my life :)).


But,if you would like to fall in love with Istanbul instantly you should visit Sultanahmet during Ramadan after sunset. You fall into a mystic atmosphere, it looks as if you see a big and happy family having dinner. Under the light of lamps they sit at long tables, benches and on the grass, they eat, talk and enjoy. Join and you will not want to leave this place :))I can still clearly remember the smell of kebab and grilled chestnut when I close my eyes and think.


And I remember how I was laying on the grass at Topkapi yard and thinking about glory, love, craft and hatred that these eternal trees kept. I remember getting out of a hamam and listening to the soft voice inside, saying “everything will be ok", on a sunny day in Istanbul. "Everything will be ok with you" - maybe it was the soul of Istanbul visiting me and whispering it to my ears?


All these little pieces of memory, smells and sensation fill and excite my mind and soul and I have a feeling of longing...


I fell in love with the women of Istanbul looking at their beautiful faces with make up, listening to their soft pronunciation and dreaming of the same speech.


I fell in love with Istanbul when I cast a look to their hairs with gel :)) and their love to kids at park on a sunny Sunday.


I fell in love with Istanbul with its inhabitants, so hardworking and patient, and with their a bit indulgent attitude to tourists as to a lovely child. One day I got lost near Beayzit square and tried to explain that I needed to go to Aya Sofya to an old man. One man silently waved at me and leaded me there. When we arrived in 10 min, he pointed me Aya Sofya, said bye, smiled and left. It was silly of me, but I thought that he had other purposes (nice purposes).


I don't know when and where I felt it for the first time, and what my love will be after living here for some time. Will it transform to deep love or fade away from life problems?


But I will never forget such feelings that filled me as if the button of my heart slowly turning and a tinkling music box is playing.


Maybe it was happiness?


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