Calm before the storm

May 31st, Istanbul

The light was falling over the water as I was floating on it. Our ferry was making its way back to the dock in Eminönü, and at the time I didn’t realize this would be my last shot. There must have been something inside urging me to capture this calm, but when will we learn it isn’t something to be captured?

We wandered the old town today, my Swedish friend having joined for the long weekend. The jewelery man at the Grand Bazaar flirted with her over baklava and black tea. He’d delayed our departure with his pleasantries, and I anxiously studied my watch, calculating the time it’d take us to get from the old city to the dock where a boat would slide us up the Bosphorus for a twilight cruise.

We were late. We scurried across the bridge, dodging proposals for happy hour and fish sandwiches, only to stop when someone yelled out, “You dropped something!”

We turned in unison, surveying the ground for an answer, only to hear his reply, spoken through a sly smile: “You dropped my heart.”

I was used to Viktoria’s presence turning heads, but this Turkish charm was a first. This was not the moment to engage their wit, so we carried on, arriving just in time to find seats on the boat that would float us up this wide river, where lush green landscapes cover the coastline for miles ahead and suburban-sized homes stretch towards their private docks. All this in a city that is still called Istanbul. It seems to stretch on forever.* The Black Sea lies just 20 miles to the north, but I wouldn’t have a chance to dip my toes into it this time. Just being on the boat made me feel like I was on vacation. I was with my best friends and we were already dreaming up a return, a reason to feel the wind on our face again.

I turned toward Viktoria to see her skin glisten in the sun, eyes smiling underneath dark glasses. The wind whipped her hair across her face. These are the winds that blow worries away. These are the winds of change, of ominous and unexpected uprisings that lie brewing just moments away.

*Wikipedia tells me Istanbul is the second-largest city in the world by population within city limits (city proper excluding suburbs.)

 Day 9 of 30; Postcards from Turkey

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~ by maureenmoore on July 17, 2013.

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