This post comes a week after arriving in the horn honking, beast of a city that is Istanbul. And what a week it has been. After arriving on Monday night me and my partner in crime were whisked off our feet to the friendly hotel Seref, Beyoglu. After a fitful nights sleep, we were picked up (an hour and a half late- a sign of things to come?) at 10.30 and transported to a far away land otherwise known as Avcilar, to our place of work. Thrown straight in at the deep end, a week of work commenced, involving an excruciating daily commute from Taksim to Avcilar (not for the faint hearted or claustrophobic) and lesson observations which cumulated in a full day of delivering lessons, finding our feet and being tested by students that want to discover how far they can push us. All of this alongside getting to know the very European Taksim and surrounding areas.
A very busy week indeed, fitting for this fast moving, hustling, bustling city. London ain’t got s**t on Istanbul!!
Saturday saw a sad departure from hotel Seref, which I recommend if you want to stay near Taksim- not too fancy, provides breakfast, en suite etc. Quite lavish compared to my usual hostel hopping ways, the restaurant provides a nice view of the sprawling city on a tired morning, or evening sipping tea and watching the artificial city lights sparkle like the stars that they have unwittingly replaced.
After an unceremonious start to moving day involving an unwelcome early morning wake up call, we arrived at what we shall be calling home for the next eight months, located in a concrete jungle within the concrete jungle, otherwise known as Beylikduzu (a pleasant enough suburb in the European West). Our home equipped with all the mod cons, except the one thing to my horror we are lacking…an oven!!! No more baking for at least 8 months :(. Not good for a self confessed cake face! Gymming and swimming will have to replace this favourite hobby of mine, as our apartment is part of a complex in which these things are included for a nominal monthly fee. Exercise is definitely not as fun as cake but at least my waistline will tell the tale.
Upon paying a 300 TL deposit for our water and heating, we anticipated the grand unveiling of our water supply, which unfortunately did not happen, our first nights sleep spent shower free ‘making do’ with bottled water for teeth brushing.
Luckily this was all sorted the following morning and we were good to go, ready for Bayram holiday, a welcome week off for us to explore the city.
All in all a crazy introduction to Istanbul. Perhaps a sign of things to come??
To be continued…..
- Istanbul, Turkey (thelongweekender.com)
- Through Istanbul’s Marketplaces (urbanmarketsplatform.wordpress.com)