As of today, I have approximately 55 days left in Turkey. Holy crap.
The countdown is starting to feel real. Like, really real. As excited as I am to start a new life in China, leaving Turkey is going to leave a bit of a simit-shaped hole in my heart. I have made so many wonderful friends here who have really become like my family and have been by my side through everything from economic crisis and culture shock to Turkish miracles and breathtaking travel moments. Saying goodbye won’t be easy.
I have been a bit of a hermit this year. Our trips have been a little lackluster compared to previous years and more than that, I think we have just gotten a little tired. Living on a little rock by the sea in the middle of nowhere can make you feel a little burnt out and lethargic after four years, I suppose. I’ve been venturing into Istanbul less and less, but one of my dearest friends managed to pull me out of my cave this weekend.
First up was a delicious Mexican dinner, which is a big deal in Turkey because it is hard to find Mexican food here – especially good Mexican food. These enchiladas were the real deal.
The next day, we ventured all the way out to Beykoz to go to a super hipster BYOB old shoe factory-turned-movie-theatre that plays cool old films and cult classics. To get there, you have to take a special golf cart with security because the road is lined with active movie sets for Turkish series and films.
Here is the oh-so-comfy movie theatre. Not pictured: mulled wine in a coffee cup. We watched Tokyo Godfathers, which was amazing.
After our movie and some lunch, we headed over to Beşiktaş to see Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon exhibit, as well as a few other pieces at the Ferriye museum.
The sunset over Ortaköy was otherworldly.
The next morning, after brunch, my friend convinced me that it would be awesome if we both got our ears pierced on a whim. So that happened.
As I hopped on the bus to head back to my rock by the sea, the thought that kept running through my head was I’ll miss you. Istanbul, my friends, the seaside, my village home, all of it.