Local Flavor

Greetings from Tarabya! That is our neighborhood, or suburb, depending on one’s source. Istanbul is made up of a variety of districts, regions, neighborhoods, areas, subareas…the point being that it is not enough to just know your neighborhood (or suburb?). One has to know a slew of defined locales that goes into determining one’s exact location in this rich city. And if you know the closest mosque, that is also very helpful.

There is a problem with this (my problem): Since I am still waiting for a teacher who is willing to sign onto the great challenge of teaching me Turkish, I have been less-than-dedicated about studying the language. Which means that all names – even my own address – is like so much gibberish to my ears and brain (not a reflection on Turkish, which is actually a very nice, soft-sounding language; rather it’s a reflection of how long it takes for those foreign sounds to take hold in one’s ears and brain and start sounding not-so-foreign…a process that, in my case, probably takes a wee bit longer than for most).

My point being: who can remember gibberish?

So, when a person defines one of the names that I absolutely must remember in order to find my way home, it just doesn’t stick.¬†Luckily, until the time when such pertinent information becomes less gibberish-like, I have my handy-dandy GPS system to guide me. As long as I can push the ‘Home’ destination, I am (I hope) in good shape. I’ll tackle street-neighborhood-region-sub-region names later.

(The only caveat is that I have yet to test out my GPS system and the ‘find home’ button. I just plugged the GPS into my car this afternoon, so stay tuned.)

So, in the time leading up to that big test, I have been walking close to home to get a feel for our closest attractions and sights. Here are a few…

Wa-la, the sunrise (the bus leaves at 7AM; we’re up early)…

After about a 10-14 minute descent down the hill, after stopping to gather a bit of kindling along the way…

there is the port area of Tarabya…

and heading toward Yenikoy (south toward the center) along the boardwalk…

…this cafe…thought it was ‘High Roller Cafe’ but it’s “Hay Rolah.’ It’s not. No gambling but the coffee is divine.

And, of course, the boardwalk itself…I can’t seem to stop snapping pics of this long, lovely, meandering piece of concrete…

…to Yenikoy…

…and some lovely fish …

…that I will hopefully, someday soon, gather up enough courage to buy and maybe even actually cook.

But not yet. Pizza for dinner tonight.


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