19 July 2017


As you can probably imagine, there aren't a lot of easy ways to get to Tashkent from Riyadh.  There are some nice flights that just have a short layover in Dubai, but those were unreasonably expensive so we flew Turkish Air through Istanbul. But this time, we left the airport!  How exciting.  It was just overnight, but it was lovely to finally see a little bit of Istanbul.

We poked around the New Mosque and the Egyptian bazaar in between eating lots of good things like lokmalar and borek and pide and Iskander kebab and simit and kofte and kokorec and more things I can't even remember.  The second day we mostly spent on the water, taking the public ferry to the Asian side of the city and then taking a cruise up the Bosporus to the second bridge.  The child with us liked that and it was so pleasant to be on the water.

I loved the public transit in Istanbul.  It's a hilly and watery city so there are sky trams and funiculars and ferries in addition to the usual buses and subways and trams.  And it was so diverse.  So many different people and ethnicities, wearing everything under the sun, eating so many things.

Also, the lira and the riyal are worth almost the same amount in dollars which made the money part uncomplicated.  And even though it was humid, it felt so wonderfully cool the entire time we were there.

And it felt so Turkic.  Both my husband and I noticed that right away.  I loved that.  Turkish is worth speaking if you're there, but a lot of the signs were in Russian and Arabic and English too.  It seems to be the perfect place for us.  I've always wanted to live in Istanbul, but it just moved way up on my list of cities to move to sooner than later (for the record, the short list includes Cairo, Tashkent, Istanbul, Jerusalem, and Mexico City).

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