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  • Jacopo Rufo

Istanbul (Pt III)

When I realised that the photos on AirBnb were reality I was astonished. I mean, the apartment was just in front of Galata Tower!

Living in Galata is not very interesting if you're looking for a no touristic ambience. The main street is always full of morons taking selfies, the bars are veeery expensive and everything looks created to satisfy the frugal needs of a North European tourist.

Anyway, the view from Galata Tower is simply WOW. From here you can understand how messy is this city and how it's literally a concrete jungle. It's an anthill, populated by people who know exactly where they are going.



During the late night the district changes radically, local people come out and everything looks more authentic and spontaneous. This is probably one of the most impressive thing I learned about Istanbul: every district, every corner, has multiple lives. It depends on the time, on the day, on the point of view.

This sleepy man works on the ground floor of the building I was living in. He works in a very small room, I can't even define it as a room, it's more like a cupboard. And I can't even define his job, I've seen him repairing pieces of plastic like power outlets or I don't know. Anyway, I'm almost sure that he spent there most of his life. Last day I saw him sleeping.

Few nights ago I was walking in a very touristic street looking for a beer and I saw a woman in burqa talking with somebody on Skype. I stopped for a second, I was just curious to see with who she was talking. Probably she was talking with one of her friends, but when I realised that she was wearing a burqa so she was basically a black figure in her frontal camera, I asked myself: why tf should you use Skype if you wear a burqa?

I've spent Saturday night in İstiklâl, like any good tourist. Although it is the beating heart of the city, the three million people that pass it every day, can make it rather challenging to traverse. Yet it serves as a microcosm of Istanbul itself and although chains and crappy fast food joints are starting to edge out the more old fashioned shops, there’s still traces of old Istanbul here. I bought a very kitsch t-shirt I'm not showing you because I feel embarrassed.

Talking about kitsch, I can proudly say that sometimes Turkish people has a very special taste about lights and colours.

A gentleman with his elegant motorbike


Few days ago I moved to Fatih, a very strange and controverse district in the European side of this huge megalopolis. You will see it in the next post. For now I just show you the view from my window :)


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