Sunday, 12 April 2015

Travel - Istanbul

A brief sojourn to Istanbul over Easter. A mere 3 or so hour flight from London and then we are transplanted in a beautiful chaotic city. It is also a great place in which to force the uptight, road safety geek that I am, to relax over the fact that the taxi driver from the airport spent the entire journey simultaneously yelling animatedly on his mobile phone and smoking.

I've been reading the Museum of Innocence, by Orhan Pamuk. The book's main character is Kemal, a privileged young man from Istanbul's cultural and wealthy elite. He describes the fixation of his generation in adopting the latest of the fashions in Paris and Italy, keenly adopting a Western outlook and gently mocking the headscarf-wearing housewives of the more traditional Turkish working classes.

Subconsciously or not, as we pottered around the backstreets of Beyoglu, I paused occasionally.  I wanted to see if I could catch a glimpse of Kemal's past, maybe by gazing through an open windowpane, or stopping to see who would come out of the next doorway. Maybe it was in the spring breeze if I gazed upwards to the top floors of the apartment buildings.  The feeling was there but rather it was reflected in the rich diversity of urban coolness that emanates from the creative industries we saw springing up all over the city.

The Ortak√∂y Mosque