Even though it has been several hours, I can still feel the waves of the sea rocking me, lulling me to sleep as I type this. I love that sensation; it's like the sea is holding on to me— or maybe I am the one unwilling to let go. I was in the mood for a little adventure when I woke up this morning. A new friend of mine was in town, and we decided a divine lunch was in order. We hopped on the Kadıköy ferry to Çiya, for a feast of sour cherry kebaps, green beans in yoghurt and mint, saucy aubergines and lentils, and a tomato and parsley salad with pomegranate seeds. Çiya may be on another continent (it sits on the Asian side whilst I reside cherry kebapless in Europe), but I plan on becoming a regular. Just look at this:
See? Oh, and this— this is lahmacun (lah-ma-joon)— typically Turkish, and ever so tasty. A thin, soft bread baked with ground meat, onions, tomatoes, parsley and spices. You can find lahmacun pretty much everywhere for about a lira and a half. A perfect snack, or in this case, a delightful addition to a feast. All that delicious food for about twenty dollars. Can you believe it?
At the end of a long, satisfying, festival of flavour, tea is in order. After downing what was my third tiny tulip-shaped glass of çay, we hurried off to the iskele to catch the ferry to Büyükada, one of the Princes' Islands— which some of you might remember I visited earlier this summer.
This time however, the streets were mostly empty, the quiet barely broken by the clip-clopping of horses. It was like being transported somewhere far, far away— Istanbul felt like a mere memory. We walked down shaded streets, marvelling at all the old villas, many in disrepair. Paint peeling, bougainvilleas fading— there was that beautiful melancholy that can only mean the end of a season has come.
October was rolling in with sooner sunsets— the ferry back to city madness was slow and full of pinks and violets. I sipped my fifth çay over laughter and stories. When we parted ways at Kadıköy— my friend heading off to Eminönü and I, to Kabataş, I pulled out a pencil and sketchbook and began to draw.