Ferrying to Karaköy and back

August 11, 2018

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I woke up feeling completely useless. My body aching, my mind dull, my spirit seemingly absent. I went back to sleep hoping that a little more rest would wash away this extreme weariness. It did not. I proceeded to do menial things, laundry, put order in my things, eat something. No improvement.

I decided to go out, there was a nice breeze and I thought fresh air cannot hurt in all this heat. During my travels I lost my watercolor kit. I don’t know where or how but it’s not in my pack anymore and I was really missing it.  Last Wednesday I checked the prices in a Kadidöy art store and found that the paint kits were up 30% from the prices I paid when I bought the kit back in December at 75 TL. Yesterday I looked again the same kit was now up 15 lira from Wednesday’s price at 85 TL. The lira is plunging in an abyss.  A year and a half ago it was about 2.5 TL for a US dollar. Now it is 6.43 for a dollar….

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So I hopped on a ferryboat across to Karaköy, then walked over to Sirkeci.  There is a row of art supplies stores there, I wanted to see if i could find a better price over there.  In the big store, no one would help me so I went to a smaller one, I found the Van Goh 12 pad kit, the same one I lost.  I asked the price: 75 TL he told me.  I decided to buy it.  At the register the man told me that I was getting 15 pads for the price of 12.  Bonus!  I felt good about finding this and replacing the lost one.  Later I checked online and on Amazon it would have cost me $35 dollars plus shipping for the same thing.  Right now it cost me $11.  A sweet deal.  I am happy to have watercolors again!

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For a while we may be having some good deals like this but if it continues too long, all imported things will start costing much much more because of this economic crisis.
I wonder how far that will go. It is of course yet another Trump effect, the two ‘dictators’ displeased each other and now the currency is in free fall.  Politicians are mad men. Most of them. Fanatical people, ready to magnify their ideals into the worst expressions of human narrow mindedness.

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So as the day went, the cloud of fog and pain dissipated. I walked through the Sirkeci district, where the oldest ottoman buildings stand and inspire. It’s full of people everywhere, it is hot, brilliantly sunny. There are always these moments where I look around me and find myself in awe to be here, not quite understanding how it is that I walk these streets under this sky.  All around me, it is like a fairy tale. But a realistic type of fairy tale, from filthiness to impossibly wealth and poshness, from misery to glory, from beauty to gut wrenching ugliness. When the sun shines though, Istanbul shows it’s prettiest face.

I walked to Galata, up, up, up the stairs, I don’t exercise enough so this is good for me. I went to my favorite cafe; Federal Galata, enjoyed one of the most amazing espressos one can have on this planet, drew for a while and headed back to Kadikoy with a friend, taking the ferry one more time, enjoying the sea breeze and the magical view of the city from the Bosphorus.

I’ve been back here for a week now. Time is flying by at warp speed. Starting Monday I have to accomplish many things I promised myself to attend to while in İstanbul as I only have 2 weeks left before heading to Yalova for my next Workaway on an organic farm. Monday there will be a job interview. I don’t think it will stick, but just to see what happens.  It’s a job at an elementary state school as a native English speaker, 2 hours a day, 5 days a week. That means I would have to live close to Şişli or spend half my life commuting (if I took the job) it pays 1 100 TL a month, right now that means $171 dollars a month !!?!  On top of that, they do not take care of procuring the work permit so that means first that I would be working illegally, and second that I would have to spend about 1000 lira to get a residence permit and there are no guarantees that İ would get  the permit since they changed all the rules and cannot apply like İ used to.

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I am not sure I want to end this nomadic streak right away.  I have this feeling that I must do these Workaway places I have found in Turkey.  Even more, that it is important that I do them for some obscure reason.  I do have longings to find a nest here, but again, I think that it is not quite time yet, and that I should go back to Europe, France more precisely before settling but I do not have any clear cut reasons or targets about this. We will see.

Yesterday I created a new Facebook page, my art page, I want to materialize this aspect of my life into the world.  I wish to do more learning and more work in this field.  The simple process of setting up the page made me see how unorganized I am and gave me some ideas about what to concentrate on next.  Step by step.  I am finding the way.

Much much love.

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