Day 1: Belediye

The Golden Horn
One reason my grandpa had access to jobs and an education in a mostly-illiterate Saudi Arabia was because my great grandfather was raised and educated in what was then a capital city, and it wasn’t an ordinary capital city either.

June 10, 2017. Morning.

This is my 8th time in İstanbul. I am happy to realize that I am not excited to come here anymore. It is because I got used to it (though not 100%). I see more familiar things. I treat the city as a living room in this house that we call The World. The routine of landing at Atatürk airport, getting the passport stamped, grabbing the baggage, then taking the Metro to Şişli is not as exciting as it used to be. My plans today include grocery shopping, admiring the Bosphorus from Cevdet Paşa Caddesi, and writing at Bebek Parkı.


I finally did the walk from Beşiktaş İskelesi to Arnavutköy after 4 years. I could not have asked for a better walk. My mind was filled with beautiful scenes that cameras would never capture. The waves, the fish poles, and the minarets got me to write more and more. It is slightly hypnotizing.

I’ll head to Bebek Camii and get a free iftar there alongside the iftar crowd. After any good meal in İstanbul is a good nargile session. Maybe I’ll find one in Üsküdar. Sunset is at 8:30 pm. Sunrise is at 5:31 am. Dawn is at 4:58 am. I’ll try to sleep at 11:00 pm.

Tomorrow, I will practice some Russian and visit Kadıköy. I’ll bring my book with me and find a good spot to read there. I am in the chapter about the migrations of İstanbullus following World War I. One of those İstanbullus was my great-grandfather.

— End —

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