RadioBDC Logo
Would You Fight For My Love | Jack White Listen Live
 
 
< Back to front page Text size +

Turkey: Smorgasbord

Posted by Tom Haines, Globe Travel Writer  March 13, 2007 03:13 PM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

There is an urge, in arriving in a place long conjured, to want to know it, finally, at once. But jet-lagged and unslept in Istanbul, it is better just to notice:

In the center of the city, spilling with the trolley tracks from Taksim Square toward the Sea of Marmara, a pedestrian lane that could be in Vienna. Diesel store. The Body Shop. But also fast food outlets selling fresh kebabs; police idling among the gentle rush hour tide near the wide square; one holding an automatic rifle, its barrel pointed to the sky; from there, in bursts interrupted by Bosphorus gusts, drop clumps of hail; umbrella peddlers appear, 5-gallon plastic buckets full of collapsable umbrellas, for about $3.50 each; the winding boulevard dropping down toward Galata Bridge weaves amid the low crawl of four- and five-story buildings, some shiny in steel, others windows blown out, wood frames waiting only to burn; so few women wearing head scarves; fewer even, it is possible to say, than the minarets rising from the Ottoman-era mosques on river bank and hilltop; cargo tankers anchored in the flat sea; on the hills that form the last hard piece of the continent of Europe, so many Turkish faces, and those with features more common in Greece, or Armenia, or into the Middle East, or Africa; just stop in the Turk Cell shop and look at customers buying credits for their phones; a crowd of individuals, stirring and simmering, until stepping into the hail and out of it again, in groups of two or three, into a cafe for baklava, thick with pistachios, and tea; it steams.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

About globe-trotting Travel news, tips, deals and dispatches.
contributors
  • Anne Fitzgerald, Globe Travel Editor
  • Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor
  • Eric Wilbur, Boston.com staff
  • Kari Bodnarchuk writes about outdoor adventures, offbeat places, and New England.
  • Patricia Borns, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs travel, maritime, and historical narratives as well as blogs and books.
  • Patricia Harris, a regular contributor to Globe Travel, is author or co-author of more than 20 books on travel, food, and popular culture.
  • Paul E. Kandarian, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs New England and Caribbean stories.
  • Chris Klein is a regular contributor to Globe Travel. His latest book is "The Die-Hard Sports Fan's Guide to Boston."
  • David Lyon, a regular contributor to Globe Travel, is author or co-author of more than 20 books on travel, food, and popular culture.
  • Hilary Nangle, author of Moon Maine, Moon Coastal Maine, and Moon Acadia National Park, writes about soft adventure, skiing, cultural travel, and food.
  • Joe Ray, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs food and travel stories from Europe.
  • Necee Regis is a regular contributor to Globe Travel.
archives