It's that time again, time to say goodbye to yet another beautiful city and its amazing people. It's time to close another episode of my life.
To write my last post here I have come to the center of culture and history: Sultanahmet, the place where both Islam and Christianity come together and life in peace in the form of the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sofia and the place from where you can see Europe and Asia separated by a body of water called the Bosphorus.
So I'm seating here seeing the sun set before me and, accidentally Pearl Harbor's theme song starts on my iPod...so opportune to set the mood!
I don't like saying goodbyes. This year alone I have had to say goodbyes to two people I very much love and it has become a word I have come to hate. Goodbye...that implies not ever seeing you again, which doesn't seem appropriate since I know I will come back one day. I have to, because I have to see all the people I'm leaving behind, because I have to go shopping in the bazaar and I have to eat the real kofte -they don't make those meatballs and that eggplant salad anywhere else! And also, because I have to see my front door neighbor again –he always made my mornings better.
But until I come back, I can tell you I will miss you all. I will also miss the smell of the corn cooking that is in every street, the prayer at 5am that wakes up even the deepest sleapers. I will miss waking up to the Bosphorus every day -I always smile when I see the water and my problems seem to swim away. I won't miss so much those strong jaegermeister shots from Tektekçi, but I will miss the company with whom I drank them. I will miss the amazing roof terraces with a view of the entire city. And the after lunch super-hot 80ºC çay under the 35ºC Sun (somehow I have gotten used to that).
I will miss my morning bagel, the Bosphorus bridge lights and the amazing feeling of freedom and empowerment of the young people of Istanbul from the Saturday protests that are always accompanied by a liiiittle teargas!
I can keep going with a thousand more things I will miss, but I wouldn't shut up.
I have loved my time here, this entire summer; the 9 weeks I have been here...they have gone by so fast!! It feels like it's still the beginning of July and learning how to say Merhaba or Teṣekkürler... Although to be honest, I have only learned around 15 words, but apparently that’s enough to handle myself in the city of contrasts. I can now go up streets that before I couldn't even look at (streets in my area of Istanbul are veeeery steep...very!! In that sense Istanbul has nothing to envy of San Francisco).
I could go on forever. But I won't, because, like I said, I will come back, so it's only appropriate to say:
See you later, alligator! And, before I forget, thank you to all of you for making my summer so great!