Few months ago I got a text from Alhan “come let’s go istanbul”. Two weeks later it was booked.
I’ve been Turkey twice before but to a tourist area called Olu Deniz. Once with family and second time with my best mates from home. I proper loved that place, everyone calling you cheeky bugger and big boss because of my gut. They are the cheeky buggers. I danced topless to pitbull on a stage at 3am. Enough said.
I had like very little knowledge of Istanbul. What I knew before was only from shitty YouTube videos. I don’t know anyone who has been before.
Istanbul blew my fucking mind. I have never been to a city like it. I’d say I was fairly well travelled. But this was different gravy.
When I went some years ago to turkey the lira was 3 to 1 pound. It worked out fairly similar pricing as it was a tourist area. Right now the lira is 8 lira to the pound. When I say it was cheap and we lived like kings for a week I mean it. Because it’s so cheap, no single transaction was easy. Any and everyone is out to take more money out your pocket. And I love it. Tourists are dumb, and these man know that. “These guys rule the world” talking about white British people and mocking that we were stupid. It couldn’t be more true.
We had coined the phrase “there is no rules”. There is no rules in Istanbul. Anything goes. Especially if your paying. This phrase was mainly said whilst in a taxi that was either driving on the hard shoulder to cut in, or doing 80mph down a 20, or driving into the equivalent of Blackwall tunnel, realising you have gone the wrong way and reversing back out of it into three lanes of oncoming traffic. I said a hail mary then.
Alhan speaking Turkish made the holiday so much easier. I think if we didnt know the language we would be getting mugged off left right and centre. Alhan knowing whats right and wrong meant we didnt really let anyone take advantage of us, meaning we got out of about 30 taxis when they wanted to charge us not on the meter.
The food over there is just too good. We ate Döner everyday and not once was anyone ill. That shit is clean out there. Alhan took us to bare top renown spots for shish, kofta, döner, desserts, coffees, turkish breakfasts, seafood. I ate for two the entire week. Our AirBNB was above a 24 hour bakery which made little fresh brioche things which were mentallllllll. You could have it with cheese or chocolate. fire.
We spent a lot of time at the Grand Bazaar, a place where so much is happening at all times. Something like 2700 stalls all under one roof selling everything from slippers to golden crowns. Bare fakes, but if you like me you find the good fakes and we cashed out. we shut it down.
Police out there are mad too, donnys just walking around with MP5’s in normal wednesday afternoon attire. Like some of them you wouldnt even know are police, you would just see the baretta tucking into the waistband.
We visited bare mosques. it was a very spiritual trip. But as I said out there, before I really could capture this city id need to visit it 4-5 times and take about 100 rolls with me.
teşekkürler alhan, milo and istanbul. I had a fucking blast.
RIP Jamal Khashoggi