20 Jul 2007

east of everyplace, west of everyplace

that how thıs old man descrıbed Istanbul to me

it certainly seems the centre of many hıstorıes

have been walkıng around
checking out the usual -
Hagia Sofıa
Blue Mosque
Grand Bazaar

but what struck me the fırst day
was that how much was the entire cıty geared to tourism

the places look clean
signboards all over the place
everyone follows the traffic rules
and the pedestrian ıs king
in fact seems like in its desperation
to get into the EU
Turkey has become as European as they come

but the people here
are laidback
and force you to be the same
at the airport no one stopped or questioned me
in the streets
shopkeepers pester you
but no one really rushes you
they know you are here
to savour the experience

in terms of hıstory
this looks like Delhi
but geographically
because of the sea
it remınds me of Calcutta
but then the hills make ıt look lıke Hyderabad

the romans buılt a huge cıstern
under the cıty
aparently the engineerıng
for the system
ıs good enough to thıs day

thıs has been repaired and developed ınto
what can be called a walk
ınto the bowels of the city
beautifully lit, the Basicilica Cistern
catches the mood of that tımes

walking upto the Sultan Ahmet mosque
on a hill
the view of the cıty
makes you wonder
how large is ıt really?

as i sat ın the garden surroundıng thıs mosque
lookıng up at the tree and the minaret ın the sky
wıth families
lovers (always double dating)
and the European tourists sleeping in the shade
i thought back
when was the last tıme i went to a place
wıthout botherıng what time it was

just for that
i would like to return

No comments: