It’s a bit overwhelming here in Istanbul. The sounds in the street: cars honking, buses screeching, birds – lots of them crowing and chirping, Islam prayer call, people shouting in the street, merchants selling their goods. Then what you cannot hear, you see: dirty fat cats waiting for the shops to open and orange, yellow, green of red fruit and vegetables in the stands, women selling flowers, are just a few items that draw the eye.
In a bookstore to find an English tourist book of Turkey, I heard the most beautiful violin music by Farid Farjad that I purchased; I never found a tourist book, but did find a Turkey/English dictionary.
After this bit of touring and watching the ferries dock at the shoreline, I went to a restaurant and asked for what I saw in a glass shelf. The man on the other side was desperately trying to tell me something but I didn’t get it.
It turns out he was telling me to sit down and the waiter would bring it to me.
After awhile I did as I was told.
Then a young waiter smiled at me and asked if I spoke German, and I said no, but a little bit of Dutch. He didn’t understand the word Dutch or Holland or the Netherlands until a movie-star-looking man sitting next to me, said, “Hollandia.” . Oh, that he knew; but not the language of that country. He went on to do his work.
The gentleman who answered, learned English in a university. That’s all gathered about him.
Then back at the hotel I booked on-line an all day tour, which will begin on the European side on Thursday at 9 a.m.
I asked the gentleman downstairs in the lobby to print it out for me; that I would send it to his email address. That request had three people trying to figure out what I was asking. One man went and got a map, spread it out to show me that I could take a boat from one end of the bay to the other. I insisted I just wanted the voucher printed for my tour.
They finally got it and printed it…in Turkish.
Today, I learned that to be picked up at the hotel, I must go to the European side first, as they don’t come to Asia for pick-ups. That led to some more confusion. I was told to wait for the manager because I had asked them to call the company and get the information for me.
I did, and then it took two men, two phone calls, and one more call expected tomorrow, and I hope I’ll know where to go and when to report. I’ll get there.
I find the people here friendly and ready to help a traveler.