As of the plane begins to land, on the small window I can feel the heat of Istanbul. Buildings are not very tall, however their color and shape are absolutely fascinating for me. Anyhow, this is a very little detail, if we make a comparison with the atmosphere in the heart of the city and the way I feel anytime I put my foot in this crowded and at the same time exciting city. It’s as if the sea gets mixed with the land. Just like buildings are one next to the other, so are the ships, which are literally suffocating.

Regardless of the reasons for my visits in Turkey, I’ve always felt like this. Cities are different, however not completely. But today I shall report strictly on Istanbul. I’ve tried to remember the first time I got here, however I find it impossible to do this, anyway,  I was very young, somewhere around 3 years old. Everything that came from the “Turkish people” back then, was better, having more quality. Perhaps this idea still lingers on, since the trade between Romania and Turkey is so prosperous. Of course, bearing in mind the times that we are living in…

I can say every nation has its specific traits and after a while, and a few walks I got to get there, in my attempt to classify people. So, landing on the Ataturk airport, the madness begins. Crowds of people, some running, others walking like on a boulevard, ,… however none yelling. At least them, the main guests. They speak loudly, laugh a lot, but their kindness and help I have never met in such a big number in any other cities. While standing in line for our passports, which line seemed as if endless, 2 – 3 Turkish people of a small stature start mingling and get in front of us. Some women were jumping over the fences, which were there only formally, others were going straight in front, forgetting about the already existing line. No one said anything, this being something normal for them. but what about the rest of us? I’ve just sat silent, looking at them and analyzing them, the way they are and I love them for the way they are. It’s not long that one can hear a British accent, a lady, that type of a lady that I talked to you about a little while ago, who puts on her glasses and tries to explain to them her point of view, and I believe in an ironic way, the good manners too! I quickly turned my eyes looking at my Turkish person. His reaction was amazing from my point of view. I let him understand that that’s the way Turkish people are, smiling and inviting him to get in front of me if he’s in a hurry. I got this very well stuck in my head and I believe I shall always remember this when I get caught on a wrong foot.

I did not have much time at my disposal, however I enjoyed their gastronomic good stuff. I know, I should have eaten so much baklava, or drink so much ayran, but..I promise I’ll get normal as of tomorrow. No, maybe the day after tomorrow, since tomorrow I leave for London, starting on Monday. I’ve also neglected my workouts, so..shame on me. I’m trying to fin an explanation for my consciousness, for me to feel good, but I find it hard to do that. I know! I walked a lot, therefore I did do some sport, right? And I can feel the taste of baklava, what a good stuff..

Anyway, Turkish culture has gone through several stages: pre – Anatholic, Selgiucidi and Ottoman. It also had to deal with several civilizations, such as the Arabs, the Iranians and the former inhabitants of Small Asia. They have borrowed some traditions and customs, however they have kept on developing their tradition up to Central Asia. Watching Suleiman the Magnificent I understood very little in terms of their marriage – related traditions, clearly noticing the man’s power over a woman and most of all, a sultan’s right to have several wives. The rule referring to the number of spouses (maximum 4) has vanished in 1926, and thus many women have been happy,… I guess. Perhaps my way of thinking is telling this, particularly my education. For instance, my man shall never go in front of me in the street with me following him together with our children. I don’t judge them, not in the least.

Turkish people are the best friends anyone can get. As a proof to this fact, in the years I spent in London, I got very close to a Turkish woman and a Turkish man. They shall be my friends for ever, they have a wonderful soul, they have always been there for me, in good times and in bad times. We talk almost daily, even now when we live in different countries. Turkish people generally prefer groups, agitation, parties, therefore,… they are our type of people, the one that Romanians like! In terms of business, I can say they are innate traders. They give you the impression that they are trying to sell anything to you. They have this thing in their blood. And among friends, they even make jokes on this. It’s true that I used to get blocked for a couple of seconds a little while ago, when I used to ask my Turkish friend for something and she used to get back to me with the amount of money she wanted for that particular thing. Now I get amused and smile every single time….

Therefore, why do I love Istanbul? I just cannot sit and count the number of reasons I have to love it, I love unconditionally! I fell in love with it the very first moment I saw it, it makes me feel like missing it and it takes me by surprise every time I visit it. I don’t have to travel to the end of the world so as to feel great. Thus, the city on the two continents, the place where the West meets the East, has to be seen at least once… Fascinating and unique, Istanbul I hereby promise I shall return…. soon!

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