Istanbul part 1 : the poetry of Bosphorus

There will be some other articles in which I will describe what to visit / do / eat / whatever in Istanbul. Don’t worry. but this one here will be like a summary, introduction and conclusion of the trip. Great, pure philosophy. Just what people need in January 😉
What happens is that Istanbul exceeded all my expectations, I was fascinated by everything, people, culture, the city itself, the good atmosphere that you can always feel there   … when I say everything, I don’t exaggerate, it’s really everything. And yes, I’m learning Turkish, and yes I’m going back there, I paid my visa for $ 35 so I’m going to make the most of these 5 months left. Apparently, I was illuminated with that interesting sunset on the Bosphorus, or something just hit me in the head, but I can’t stop laughing to the eventual problems and simply being happy since I came back from Turkey and also while being there.
So, if I say that I liked so many things, I might even be more interesting to talk about what maybe was missing. What I expected to see and I didn’t. Otherwise, it will be a boring article, pure compliments to Istanbul. Flattery and no complaints, handwriting of a European person. Almost impossible. Well, it’s only because I spent a year of my life in Chile. Without that, I would be like the rest of the vast majority of people on my continent. So enjoy, you don’t read this every day.
The only thing I thought I missed in Istanbul was having more green spaces. Parks. I saw just two or three. There simply aren’t so many. I don’t know if it’s because I was a bit spoiled after living in cities (and certain sectors of those cities) that had a lot of green, parks everywhere. I was missing a bit of that in the largest Turkish city. The city is so beautiful, so colourful, and more than that, full of scents that come from the bazaar (the market), and of course, there is also the Bosphorus. The smell of the sea is one of the most beautiful things in this life for me. I am from the Mediterranean and it cannot be otherwise, I love looking at the sea, thinking (or not, it doesn’t matter), feeling that smell of salt and water together in a perfect mix, in a paradise for all the senses. And that is where, one day before leaving Istanbul, crossing the Bosphorus by boat with my friend, I understood one thing. I was watching the waves and the birds and there was a musician singing melancholic Turkish songs in the background. And actually, my conclusion was that the city was also perfect without parks, because there was the Bosphorus.
That same night, I went to Taksim (it’s more or less the main square) and was walking around, waiting for my friends. I felt very well, honestly, the destination that my friend chose for the new year pleasantly surprised us all three. Well, I had time there and I started thinking.
Since the end of the 2019 and the beginning of 2020 I lived it in Istanbul, it was the perfect place to summarize the year and reflect a little on what happened. 2019 was a very intense year. Change of continents, change of life, total development, for the umpteenth time, of the incredible system of adaptation that luckily I have written in my genetics. In the Diković family four generations were born in the same place (geographically). Each of us was born in a different country (geopolitics). Yes, we had to adapt, always, but without losing our essence, the joy (a bit of madness too) and the good sense of humor that we also carry in our veins.
And that same night (dramatic music in the background : o ), walking around in Taksim and waiting for my friends, I understood that it was worth leaving Chile. (şok, şok, şok for all the people that know me and that are reading this) After seven months thinking that, even if the reason told me it was the best thing for me to come to Europe, my heart really wanted to stay in Chile and never come back. There I already had a life, many friends, people who love and appreciate me, I had a work visa that cost me a lot to get, I finally had it. I had a second homeland, a country that accepted me with all my good and bad things and I accepted that country with all its wonders and imperfections. But, in a very short period of time several things happened (let’s recognize, not necessarily good things), I got an opportunity in Europe and I left. It’s true, I couldn’t adapt so well to Belgium, so I began to miss Chile and thinking that it would be better for me if I have stayed there. But in the meantime I traveled a lot in European countries where before I had no interest in. It’s interesting that I was practically visiting the edges of Europe, no longer the “center” And after my unforgettable and beautiful experiences in Sweden, the Canary Islands, Portugal and now Turkey I began to see everything from another point of view. If I hadn’t returned, I would never have seen my old friends, they would never have introduced me to other people as or even more great than them. I would never have left behind those ridiculous prejudices I had of certain nations or cultures. And at that moment, walking through Taksim I thought, I’m happy, really happy, me now, and I wouldn’t change that moment for anything in the world. All those experiences, either. Yes, although it’s difficult to tell this to myself and although it seems strange (after all the praise and tributes about Chile that you can read in 849430 of my articles), I am glad that I’ve returned and discovered another facet of Europe, the corners that were hidden for me, the jewels so bright that before I was not able to see the brightness in all its splendor, as I can do now. Every second I spent in Turkey was great, I spent it smiling and happy. I loved the culture, the sweets, the history, the current situation, the differences, the views, the madness of being in a city on two continents, the Turkish language, and more than anything, the Turkish people. They are beautiful, nice, cute, I don’t know how to describe them because they are too much and it’s difficult to find the exact words for those wonderful people who hosted me, took me to know spectacular views, that made me laugh, that taught me some Turkish, preprared to me and my friends Turkish food and coffee, talked to me with such passion about their country and the situation there, took me to discover the soul of that giant city, that offered me the best of them without asking for anything in return. çok teşekkürler is the only thing that comes out right now. They deserve much more than these two words, but sometimes seriously the words are not enough. That’s why there are the çok güzel photos. I also include my Croatian friends, because in just a few days there we already became half Turkish, So you don’t even see the difference.
P.S. Of course, not all the people are in the photos, I forgot two of them. Normally I don’t take so many photos, but my dear Ana, who has a lot of friends in Istanbul, asked me to take a photo of every one of them as a proof I saw them 🙂 I must say that I met the majority of those beautiful Turkish people thanks to her. Ana, sen olmasan ne yapardım 🙂

Author: Antonija Dikovic

Antonija Diković, Master´s degree in Spanish literature and translation studies in French Interest : travels, foreign languages

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