I woke up this morning with my head full of romantic images of dark wool coats flecked with melting snowflakes, red cheeks, ornate buildings with white cake-like frosting, my hands and belly craving the sweet warmth of roasted chestnuts. I pulled on my warmest coat, thickest socks and wrapped myself up in my big turquoise scarf.
At first it was exactly as I dreamt, but I soon realised the poetry of walking down Istiklal in the snow is lost when a giant, heavy-footed man treads on your toe and you can't feel it. Even the chestnut roasters were too cold to offer shivering pedestrians their paper bags of warmth. I opted instead for a less healthy paper cone of frites— delicious, but nowhere near the magic of chestnuts. I could only make it as far as Robinson Crusoe 389 (my favourite Istanbul bookshop) to purchase a copy of Cannery Row, before I was ready to go home to a hot shower and some tea.
I am so grateful for hot water.