Thursday, April 05, 2007

ISTANBUL | Flying Home Tomorrow

April is the start of the tourist season in Turkey. In front of the Blue Mosque is a beautiful garden where they have these colourful tulips - and a fountain. The fountain was dry when we first arrived; they have just refilled the fountain.

Tomorrow is Good Friday. Our flight is schedule for 15:15 tomorrow, so we are just wrapping up our sightseeing. We woke up later this morning, no longer in any rush to see the sights. We just walked today - but later when we came back to the hostel my friend was "kidnapped" by a carpet/kilim shop-owner for tea.

They seem to do that a lot - invite people for tea. My friend claims he did not try to sell her carpets, although the gentleman appears to be in his 50s, but claims to be 38.

Maybe it's the thought of home that's making me yearn for some familiar things - like Starbucks coffee.

"Really, ah?" says my friend when I suggested sitting down for a while at Starbucks. So we did. And read a bit. I brought In Patagonia today, for a change, but I barely made it to more than 50 pages.

The advantage of globalisation (although some claims it is the ills) is that everything becomes so generic - you can make sense of a Starbucks drink menu without knowing any Turkish. We also dropped by a bookstore today, where the sign only says "Bookshop" - well, it's definitely to the point. The "Bookshop" specialises in English books with a Turkish flavour. It was interesting for a quick browse - but you're probably better off buying them from your local bookstore at home. More economical.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to stuff my backpack with all the boxes of Turkish delights I'm bringing home as gift.

Until later. Maybe I'll already be home by then. Oh god, I can't bear the long airplane flight.

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