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Last Night in Istanbul

My last night in Istanbul I read “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” in one go, sitting in a sidewalk bar. A quote: “Never love a wild thing…the more you do, the stronger they get. Until they’re strong enough to run into the woods. Or fly into a tree. Then a taller tree. Then the sky. That’s how you’ll end up, Mr. Bell. If you let yourself love a wild thing. You’ll end up looking at the sky.”

It was Sunday. Overcast, which is why it made perfect sense that that was the day I found the perfect sunbathing spot on the sourth shore of the Golden Horn, among shards of broken glass from discarded beer bottles. The city felt hungover: still lively in a half-hearted sort of way, but clearly had left its best energies on the table the night before. I was beat myself; tired of museums and mosques, of chicken pitas, Efes beer, tourists. Tired of restaurant touts and rug salesmen, tired of every attempt by strange men to hustle me into a strange bar where they can get me drunk and take my money. Welcome to foreign travel in large cities, son, get used to it.
Frankly, I’m tired of the passivity that comes with being a tourist. I want WORK to do here. I hate the idea of living off savings, but I hate more the knowledge that I’m not doing anything particularly useful to anyone else. I miss having, not structure, but an objective, some goal for which to strive.
I’m off to Sofia, Bulgaria today, and then to Belgrade, then Novi Sad, Serbia, assuming I can figure out the train schedules. Here’s to Holly Golightly and memories of Istanbul.

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  1. July 6, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Tired but happy. Nice travelling.

    • nycwastrel
      July 6, 2009 at 7:00 pm

      Heck, I’ve got 15 hours on an express train to Bulgaria waiting for me, the fun’s just starting.

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