November 4, 2009

Obscure Istanbul Memories by Greg (Editorial Comments by Ayelet)

Our letter for today is "S." As Ayelet and I explored Istanbul, I wanted to make sure I would take a moment to write about some of the obscure parts of our trip that most travel books don't mention.
  • Seatbelts - Apparently being away from cars has taken away Ayelet's knowledge of seatbelts as the first thing she said on our Turkish Airways flight was "Does your seatbelt work?" I gladly provided a tutorial. [Editor note: These were *not* normal seat belts we were dealing with, folks. Sadly, I have no photographic evidence to show you how crazy they were. I think Greg figured it out only moments before I did. ]
  • Subways - After thinking that Munich was a big city, we entered the realm of 12 million people in Istanbul. On more than one occasion we got to be part of a Turkish sandwich as we rode through the city on its mass transit.
  • Street signs - Getting around Istanbul proved to be a bit difficult at first as we often had to guess what street we were on. The city didn't want to make up its mind whether signs should be posted on buildings, on street signs, or the favorite choice - posted invisibly. [Editor: We always got where we were going, but we just took in more of the "sights" along the way.]

  • Street cats - If you are looking for a good souvenir, there are many furry little guys running all over the city. You could create a "Cute Cat Book" for all of the places we saw them sleep. [Editor: Here's my favorite--we spotted this sleeping stray in a dry place out of the rain.]
  • Sock bags - I bet you have never had a family snicker at you at the airport because you were putting plastic bags on your feet. Thankfully, my mom taught me at a young age that a plastic bag will keep a sock dry even in a wet shoe. Ayelet and I raided our dirty laundry after a windy, down-pouring last day in the city, but I only had one pair of shoes. So, if your hotel in Istanbul has free "S"lippers in the room like ours did, shove them in somewhere as you might need them when you least expect it. [Editor: Boy, do those plastic bags crinkle around when walking! ;-) ]

Superb - my recommendation for the city as we had a great trip with many lasting memories.

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