November 2, 2009

Comparing Istanbul and Munich

Turkey had once been on our list to move to so we naturally were comparing Istanbul and Munich often on this trip.
  • Munich: so clean, well-paved, rule-bound, organized.
  • Istanbul: so chaotic, full with people, free-spirited, many sidewalks and streets in disrepair, entrepreneurial.

The last bit about Istanbul corresponds to their drive to work. Walking through the Grand Bazaar, we were met with many inviting calls (both relevant and irrelevant). "Where are you from?" "Yes?" "Excuse me, EXCUSE ME!" "Is it my turn yet?" (to which Greg replied "No.") and "For you, this price." We ended up with a beautiful silk woven tablecloth and mother-of-pearl inlaid backgammon board--our mutual anniversary presents.

Even the tour guides jockeyed for our attention and money. They could pretty much speak any language you could throw at them--English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, etc. I don't know why, but they pegged us for Germans. Maybe it was Greg's light hair or the fact we were wearing leather shows instead of sneakers, or Greg's rain jacket that he bought in Munich. We probably looked like the Germans I often see on the streets. They honestly look as though any second they could go on a hike with their hiking shoes, hiking pants, fleece vests, and waterproof sporty jackets. I always think "But where are they going to go hiking? We're in the middle of a city!"

I digress, but in any case, each city is beautiful in its own way. You can see our photos here or through the image below.

Istanbul Fall 2009

Tomorrow: I'm helping Greg post about obscure things from our vacation so stay tuned!

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