Previously I wrote a little bit about People I Met in Norway, Bulgaria and Latvia. This time I want to dedicate my thoughts to Turkey. Actually, to Istanbul, if we want to get more into details. This time story will be not only about foreigners who live here, but about people in general.
It all started while participating in youth exchange program in Bulgaria. After our project organisers informed us about 10 random day-offs we are gonna get in the middle of our project, we had a choice to either stay in our small Bulgarian village or to explore what else is around. Since we had spent some time in Bulgaria already, we chose the second option. As Bulgaria is surrounded by many interesting neighbour countries, we decided to check them out a little. After crossing the border and getting surprised by a fact that people from United Kingdom need a VISA to enter Turkey, we finally entered this country. No one was left behind.. thankfully.
As this trip was pretty much a spontaneous choice, we didn’t expect to meet many people to whom we could actually talk to. But we did.
- First I wanna tell you about Grand Bazaar. It is this huge market in Istanbul. Crowded with people, noises, smells and stuff. Soooo much stuff. Even if you are not planning on buying anything – you will – trust me. This is a place where you can hear and experience everything. My favourite was this particular pick up line: “Hi, I am Charlie. You must be my angels.”
Anyways, somewhere on the edge of the market, we found a small soap shop, filled with boxes of bath stuff and soap. And we met this guy who owns the shop. He was actually from Pakistan (if I am not terribly mistaken) and now had moved to Istanbul with his business. We started talking about soap, Istanbul and life long dreams. This guy really loved his job. The best part of it, he explained, is opportunity to meet interesting people every day. This guy was also collecting selfies with him and people from all around the world. So we took one as well. After some minutes, our conversation had to stop because his friend who was from Romania, came to visit him before traveling back to her hometown. And you know what was the craziest thing of it all? We met the same girl the next day in Romania. What’s the chance of that happening? Really? Perfect timing. This. World. Is. Amazing.
2. Second story is about this street. “Make ART, not war.” Couldn’t really say that I met these people, but they somehow reminded me once again of those Perfect Timing moments. How you can find parallels in everyday situations and how you can turn them into art. It just looked like the guy was teaching this girl some kind of a lesson about life and street-artish background served as a perfect illustration for the situation.
3. The third story is about this lovely family. After visiting Blue Mosque, we decided to take a moment and sit on a bench and enjoy the strong sun we experienced that day. While we were sitting and talking about our first impressions on Istanbul, I noticed this cute baby who was smiling so genuinely that I could not help but smile back at her. Her parents were taking pictures of each other and looking very cute together. I am usually not the one to start talking with random people on the street, but I am learning to do so, since it makes this life richer. So I stepped up and offered to take a family photo for them to remember this moment. They turned out to be very nice people who were from another town in Turkey. They had come to visit Istanbul as tourists and spent some family quality time. Lesson of the day– it is good to step out of your own comfort zone once in a while.
4. The forth is not really a story, but more like a thank you note for Istanbul. With all the craziness, hot weather, fisherman on the bridge, beeping cars and random shout outs on the street to get buyers’ attention, I am always going to remember this place as something special. I will always love genuine people and meeting people who are not afraid to share their emotions, opinions and thoughts. Even though I am deeply in love with mountains, sometimes it feels great to surround yourself by some chaos that reveals unknown characters in you. Thank you for that, Istanbul. Hope we meet again!