Istanbul, Turkey! On the Asian continent

I’ve been apprehensive about this trip since Dec. 21, but now that I breezed through customs when a jolly agent stamped my passport and told me, “Have a good trip madam”, I can relax and enjoy myself in this bustling busy city.

I am in the Asian side of Istanbul which makes me on another continent than the one across the river. That side is the European side and I’ll visit there by ferry one of these days.

Mike Siegers picked me up with his baby and another daughter who wasn’t feeling well, and drove me to the airport. Believe me, it’s great when someone knows the route to the airport and to circumvent the airport maze.

After we said our goodbyes, I was standing in the customs line where they search your luggage and screen your body, and a woman shouted some directions that I couldn’t understand. I asked the tall, three-pieced-suited man in front of me what the lady said.

“She said to take all of your clothes off and run through the detector.”

“Oh, yeah,” I said. “Well then, you go first.” I laughed.

He laughed too, and then the line moved forward until we were at the spot where you dump your coat, computer, bags and whatever into a tub that then rolls it through the peeking-at your-stuff-device.

I then got frisked.

Eventually, I got on the plane and had a great window seat, and then a lovely young lady sat next to me. She is from Istanbul, a Zamba teacher, and was a presenter at a big Zamba convention in Utrecht, Holland.

She wrote several places in my notebook that I should see and also names of typical Turkish food. She was a delightful person with fair English skills.

The gentleman next to her, a Dutchman, works on ships and was off to work on a dredger, which takes sand and and places it elsewhere, like the story I did on the Sandmotor in Kijkduin.

Then when Pegasus landed in Turkey, we had to get in line for a visa, and then in another line for the passport control. That took about an hour. Then I got my luggage and found a bus that said, Kadikoy. I sat next to an architect originally from Mexico City, but lived now in Barcelona. An interesting man, told me his parents live in Holland, and fifteen years ago when they first began living there, he went to Barcelona, and back in Holland, he announced he was moving there, and he’s been there ever since.

We had a great time talking all the way to Kadikoy. His mission was to ferry across to the European side, and mine was to find the Konak Hotel. Prior to coming to Turkey, I had sent an email asking how to get to the airport, and the answer was that they didn’t have a shuttle, but to take the bus and walk to the hotel. Well, sure, but where in the heck is the hotel?  I looked around, while the architect sort of waited to see what I’d do, and I stepped up to a man and showed him the name of the hotel and the address.

He got on his telephone and motioned for me to follow him. He walked in front of cars and buses, motioning for them to stop to let us pass. Some did; but most just closely circled around us. I followed him as best I could, and two times, my suitcase clipped my shoe and my shoe came off. I had to stop and get the shoe back on, while cars were whizzing by me.

When we got across the street and on to a very busy sidewalk with people walking every which way, I felt like I was in Barcelona, running with the bulls.

The man finally grabbed the handle of one of my suitcases and walked fast, occasionally turning to see if I was still behind him.

He stopped once again to call the hotel, and he turned back. We had been going the wrong way. So back again the same way, turned at the corner and walked up a hill to the hotel.

When we got there, the two men in the hotel were smiling. Apparently, they had some fun exchange about the man nearly dragging me to the hotel. But I thought it was generous of him, and I thanked him.

I’m in a hotel, but the internet isn’t working so the night manager said tomorrow they’ll put me in another room. Well, I’m in the lobby writing this, and the internet is working well here, either.





4 Responses to Turkey!

  1. Well, leave it to you, Laureen, to have an adventure on the way to your adventure!! I was half-way worried that that guy would make off with your suitcase… 🙂 You did buy a new one didn’t you? ‘Looking forward to reading and seeing pictures — especially about all the characters you pick up along the way!

    • Hi Susan,
      Yes, it’s always an adventure. I was so worried when I got here in this hotel because the internet wasn’t working all the time, and I needed to renew my blog. I couldn’t find any of the information required and even when I thought I had it, the internet would go out.

      I contacted Dave and he said he’d do it for me….makes me feel stupid…but oh, well…

      The hotel just put me into a lower floor so it’s a bit better. I went out to find a bank to get some lira. Man, this is a crowded and noisy place, but the people have been nice. Haven’t found any English speakers, but I purchased a dictionary.

  2. Lennart Schaer

    Hi Laureen,
    Just catching up with your blog.
    How exciting, Istanbul it is, heh?

    I would love to go there some time.
    Hope you are having a good time!

    • Hi Lenny,

      I’m on the Asian side of Turkey. I was in the European side yesterday. I’m getting ready to write about it. It was AWESOME. Hello to Juliane and Jonathan. I miss you guys.

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