Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Onward bound

I was back in Istanbul, albeit briefly, and was finding the place unexpectedly tiresome. It wasn’t the usual gauntlet of carpets salesmen or waiters touting for business, for this was a Sunday morning, shops closed and the streets almost deserted. Perhaps I’d just become accustomed once more to passing through small villages, being beckoned off the road for cups of warm, sweet tea. Friendly places, especially cosy on a cold, wet day.

An altercation with a shoe shiner hadn’t helped, left me feeling a bit jaded. He’d walked past me when I noticed that he’d seemingly dropped his brush a little way back up the street. Picking it up, I’d yelled after him. He seemed very grateful, quite insistent he give my boots a quick brush in return. Reluctantly I agreed. Then the patter. Four young children, another only yesterday. Could I make a donation? A scam after all. No, I said firmly, absolutely not. Told him I’d done him a big favour by picking up the brush, and promptly walked away. Tirade of abuse behind me. Quite good English though.

The journey from Trabzon had been uneventful enough. I’d flown back to Istanbul rather than travel by coach because, whilst the cost was about the same, eighteen hours on a bus lacked appeal. Emma, never keen on flying at the best of times, had agreed to remain with friends in Trabzon, and this had made travel arrangements quite a bit easier, and cheaper.

Over a quiet coffee, a pleasant change from the usual warm, sweet tea, I found myself mulling over my return to Istanbul. Simple necessity, the international airport a major regional hub, unavoidable if I was to enact the plan I’d devised for the next month or so. If the city made me feel weary, jaded even, it was only for a day. I’d a plane to catch early the next morning.


One response to “Onward bound”

  1. Myles Mellor says:

    The exact same thing happened to me. Only difference is I gave him a couple of lira and then felt immediately very angry. Im enjoying following your story. Keep up the good work.

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