I arrived late, hungry and ready, immediately setting search for where to drink a beer; maybe have a conversation. The bars I stumbled into were coy, cool in the way a saxophonist in a jazz band is. Like a East East Village in the port of Eurasia.
I found beer. Some feeble attempts to talk but embarrassingly realized I knew no Turkish. I would reside to my beer, my book and my observing. The eat and drink halls of Karaköy had a posh attitude, swank style, and I was waltzing around like Pig-Pen found a trunk full of Snoop’s old clothes.
The people of Istanbul dressed well, mostly in black, conservatively suave. Istanbul does hipster, but in a poised way, rather than contrived. Welcome to the Med-East.
New Rome, down to the tip-toeing half-sidewalks and doging the mess of jolting traffic. I ordered another Efes. It was time to read up on the history and culture – I was a bit benighted, illiterate to the world around me.
I meandered along the Bosphorus’ edge, watching the fish catch line, reel up into the night sky. Like an abduction, iconic mosques in the backdrop, across the Bosphorus. There was a refreshing chill and the acute aroma of fish. Turkish isn’t a tongue I was picking up on. It’s as foreign as Arabic, yet. I couldn’t even translate “Thank you”. I stumbled upon a bakery in my unsuccessful quest for real food. I settled for a honey dessert. It was sweet but unsatisfying. Onward! Across the street I ordered what tasted like lamb-meat-balls, over rice, and called it: Night 1.