Istanbul (pt II)
Last week I moved to Üsküdar, on the Asian side. Nobody has thrown a bag of garbage from the window as in Beyoglu. Everything looks clean and quiet, which is very strange because I spent the first week in complete chaos.
Üsküdar is basically a village in the middle of a huge megalopolis. Far from the touristic spots, people are mostly muslims and it's fucking hard to get in touch with locals. The only three persons I've met are: the landlord, a very weird man met on the street, and a cab driver.
"No man, it's a nightmare. Every night is a nightmare. Working as taxi driver in Istanbul is something I would not wish on anyone. I mean, it's nice because you're always meeting a lot of people, but you're always caged in a tin with wheels in the middle of a jungle. This is Istanbul. A Jungle!"
Since Üsküdar is on the other side of the sea, I experienced the ferries. I just want to remember that Istanbul is a 5000mq city divided in three peninsulas (between in Europe and Asia) and even if there are a couple of bridges and an metro line under the sea, ferries allows you to cross the city avoiding the traffic jam.
Ferries are very interesting because they link the parts of the city, so you can see a lot of different people on them. I became addicted to it and I started moving from side to side everyday, and I explored new parts of this huge city.
I went to Eminönü, famous fo the Gran Bazar. A shoeshine stopped me on the street and forced me to clean my shoes. I have just one pair of shoes and it's made of canvas so I yelled him to stop because FOR GOD SAKE YOUR JUST MAKING IT WORSE. But he continued. I payed him and I walked all the evening with my drench shoes.
In Eminönü I also met the Caretaker of the Gran Bazars Toilettes. I thought that being this man is a big responsibility. In 2014, it was listed No.1 among the world's most-visited tourist attractions with 91,250,000 annual visitors. Let's say that half of them use the toilette at least one time, it means that you have to satisfy more than 46 million piss or shit. I sure he can recognise what kind of needs are you going to satisfy just looking to your eyes.
I've finally saw a fight on the street! I spent the first two week wondering why people don't fight on the street. I mean, they spend all day long yelling, honking the horn and touching strangers, it's very weird that this was the first time I saw somebody raising the hands on somebody.
I'm increasingly convinced that Istanbul is a wonderful complete mess, there are people everywhere and sometimes you can feel a little bit lost. It's not easy to express a definite opinion about this city, every district has a different soul and believe me: it's very hard to express it with photos. Actually I'm not satisfied about all these photos your watching. I'm still waiting for "the photo".