To get the new year started off right, Richie came up with some excellent ideas. For a number of weeks now, or maybe longer, we’ve been too busy working to do many exciting new things or further Istanbul exploration activities, so Richie thought that we should make a point of doing one thing each week that we can only do in Istanbul/Turkey. If its some particular thing we can eat or place we can visit, or some other type of activity or whatnot that we think of, we have to get out there and do something Turkish.
His other idea is that we have a half hour every day where we can only speak in Turkish to each other. At the moment, that will mean we will have to look things up in a grammar book or dictionary or something, but at least it will force us to learn something, which is better than we’ve been doing so far.
I think these ideas are great, and will help us get back to making the most of our Turkish experience.
To start out today, we went out for borek for breakfast. It is a lovelyTurkish pastry, stuffed with your choice of lamb, spinach, potato or cheese. Its amazing. Then we went on a nice walk down to the Bosphorus, all the way to Ortakoy Mosque, where we sat drinking tea, overlooking the Bosphorus, with Topkapi Palace, Aya Sophia and the Blue Mosque in the distance to our left and straight across from us, the Anatolian (Asian) side of the city. The weather was unbelievably warm today, like 19 degrees (maybe in the 60s in Fahrenheit?) Anyway, with all the walking I felt really warm and was able to go in just my t-shirt, even in the evening. Amazing.
So, we sat for some time near the water, enjoying the lapping sound of the waves and the seagull cries and all the chattering of the busy outdoor cafe full of people enjoying a warm January day. We were right next to the mosque for the call to prayer and the sky was turning beautiful pinks and reds and purples as the sun went down. I absolutely love to be near water, and I think the Bosphorus is a beautiful body of water. There is always an amazing view to enjoy and I just think its cool to watch all the ferries and other boats crisscrossing the water.
On our way home we bought ourselves a carton of sahlep, the Turkish ground orchid root drink, and some stuff for our dinner. The plan tonight is to do a bit of planning for classes we’re teaching tomorrow, and then finally watch Its a Wonderful Life and have sahlep and biscuits. I feel like the new year is off to a great start.