Friday, April 15, 2011

Today, I felt a blanket of comfort envelop me.

I truly felt at ease and content in my Turkish neighborhood – like it was home. After eight months of living in
 Istanbul, I recognize the familiarity of it all and appreciate it.

I’ve started to develop a routine, particularly on Fridays. I stopped at my favorite pastane, Bahar Pastanesi, and picked up some spicy crackers and these sinfully delicious chocolate pastries that are similar to an American whoopie pie filled with Nutella ganache. I must learn how to make these!
The satıcı at Bahar recognize me by now. Today, I had a brief Turkish conversation with him, telling him his pastane was my favorite and how I liked everything. He says thank you and tells me the pastane is çok eski (very old), since 1976. I think he also told me he's also worked there for several years, but I'm not sure.

I also stopped in nearby Şütte to show a new friend where to find some specialty goods such as imported cheeses and charcuterie as well as tasty Turkish meze and olives. I didn’t buy anything today, but I did say hello to my guys there.

On my way back home, I pass the same guy that always sits on the park steps with a cat in his lap while he begs for money. It looks like some of the stray female cats in the park have had kittens recently. Today, another man was selling bouquets of daisies that were displayed in a blue plastic wash bin next to him.

Across the street, I see the same man who peels artichokes and sells them to passerby every day. A few meters down from the artichoke guy is a man who’s always on crutches and sells “evil eye” pins. Another few meters away is an older man that sells random items such as hand mirrors, hats and wallets on a blanket laid out on the sidewalk.

These characters make up my neighborhood, and I’m happy to see them here.

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Sippy Cup Central said...

So happy for you! Karen

Unknown said...

Hi Joy! I'm back! What a nice post this is - so glad you feel at home here now... I also looked at your Kadıköy post and loved your photos.

Joy said...

Yep, feeling good and happy! Claudia, welcome back! We'll have to catch up soon! Hope you had a wonderful trip!