Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Nargile Smoker, Istanbul

You don't just buy the carpet, you drink some cay and if you're curious, you ask questions, learning a little of somebody else's life.

Carpet chosen, Ali and his friend led us through dark Istanbul streets to this nargile cafe tucked away in the back of an ancient Ottoman cemetery. It was incredible ... my American friend was visiting and discovering Turkey wasn't the big bad wolf she'd seen on tv back home in States, my American colleague and his Turkish wife were there too.

It's taking the time and talking to people that makes travel magic ...


Lotus Reads said...

I love coming here, your blog is so full of nice surprises! I remember shopping for a kilm in Istanbul - we still have it - I think the store owners offered us dark coffee while we deliberated.

I have tried the "nargile", (they called it hookah in Dubai) and it's a really nice experience -love the delicate apple flavor especially!

I so agree with your last sentence - it's all about the people.

woman wandering said...

Thank you lotus. :)

I miss Istanbul, there is a warmth and a sense of fun in the people that is difficult to find in places here in Europe.

I believe travel really is all about people, learning them and what they believe rather than just pointedly ticking off that list of things to see ... we have to leave room for the people magic.

Lotus Reads said...

People magic, that's a great term, I love the sound of that! I think sometimes, the further east you go, the easier it is to get to know the people. Not sure about the Far East, because I haven't travelled there. But in South Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia and even Thailand - I found people were as curious about me as I was about them. It made for great conversations and because they're so approachable it's easier to get to know them.

Will return to read your more recent posts in a bit.

Anonymous said...

And your American friend loved it!! It was magical, though my even more lasting memory was running down the street with 2 Turks to use the bathroom at MacDonalds! I had not smoked either but it was such fun and an experience! Thank you wandering woman!