Rosinkians Reunite in Istanbul

I may have mentioned that since moving to Istanbul eight months ago, we have had more visitors than our entire nine years in Moscow?

Well, you can now add twelve to the tally.

Last weekend, twelve friends – and all Rosinka (i.e. Moscow) residents at one time or another – came to Istanbul. It was a reunion that has been in the works since June (and in the idea stage for the past 5 years). After months of back-and-forth emails, finally they all arrived from their various points of origin (Switzerland, Dubai, England, Scotland, and Russia).

And a wonderful weekend it was.

The weather was splendid. Perfect. Dreamy.

And, of course, other things were fabulous…like the ladies themselves, a group of smart, lovely women who are also, thankfully, flexible, open-minded, and fun-lovin’.

So they didn’t mind that the restaurant that I booked for Thursday night – that was supposed to be just a short walk from their hotel and actually was just a short walk from the hotel but due to some misunderstanding, ahem – ended up being a long, pricey and “interesting” cab ride away.

(But the cute, charming and very flirtatious waiter from Cappadocia made up for it.)

(The wine didn’t hurt either.)

Nor did they mind that the restaurant that I had originally booked for Friday and that was cancelled last-minute because the restaurant suddenly realized that they had renovations was replaced with a restaurant that was akin to falling through Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole except the Queen’s court was comprised of photogenic and vocally talented gigantic transvestites instead of playing cards.

(BTW, I really must get some work here in construction…when we stopped by the original restaurant to ask for directions to the substitute restaurant – they both have the same owners and are in the same vicinity – the ‘renovations’ were being conducted in suits and ties, dresses and heels, and complimented with cocktails.)

(But, no skin off our noses that we were bumped by a bigger, better party…our Alice-in-Wonderland-rabbit-hole-transvestite night exceeded all expectations.)

Nor did they mind being herded like cattle down old town’s cobbled streets at a pace Bolt would have envied. Or squashed into a tram for the journey from Sultanahmet to Kabataş.

Because the end justified the means.

Because in Kabataş, we were picked up by Captain Lüfer and his able crew and treated to a magical 4-hour dinner cruise on the Bosporus. We lounged on pillows, snacked, and drank as we made our way from Kabataş to Tarabya, floating along the Asian shoreline in the light of the setting sun. We dined and drank some more as we made our way back to Kabataş, the boat hugging the European side and giving us an only-by-sea view of spectacular homes, restaurants, cafés and palaces, all lit up like the 4th of July in the evening darkness.

Oh,  yes. And in-between nights out (and little sleep), everyone also managed to fit in a fair amount of sightseeing and shopping.

And, of course, talking.

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