Better a tourist

On perhaps our third/fourth day, time befuddles me in retrospect, Christie and I decided to head over to the Asian side of Istanbul. Had we (I) woken up at a regular hour, perhaps the next series of events wouldn’t have occurred, and thus, I thank myself for waking up at the early hour of 2PM. At the Kabata? ferryboat station, while confusedly searching for the ferry schedule to Üsküdar, a middle-aged, weather worn, tourist-looking man approached us and suggested we visit the Prince’s Islands, where he has a summer home. What started as a suspicious introduction turned into a sun-filled afternoon listening to a tragically autobiographical tale.

He was a carpet and goods dealer, buying and reselling overseas. He had spent the last twenty years in New Zealand, opening up shop with his wife and kids. Then, after a brutal, unexpected divorce, he found himself exiled to the country of his origin, a tourist in his native country. He kindly invited us into his home, a cute and small apartment nestled in the hills: private, just enough, and real. We sat on the shore line watching the sun sneak past its peak, drinking island tea. Afterwards, we supplanted the freshest seasonal fruits: black cherries, overripe and seedy grapes, and cold melon, to his home, and ate under the fleeting twilight sun. He sent us home with fresh bread.

Location: Princes’ Islands (not sure which one), Istanbul, Turkey

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