No strings attached
Istanbul Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
March 28th, 2008 – by: UKAmerican
I flew into Sabiha Gokcen, the airport on the Asian side of the city. In the middle of the desert. My friend of a friend had arranged for his friend to pick me up. When I went to the gate, I didn't see anyone with my name on the sign.
Reading various travel blogs and reviews before I made my journey, I learned that women are not supposed to look men in the eye in this city. So, I'm trying not to look at people in the face, while looking to see if anyone might be looking for me.
Finally, I see a sign with my name on, and head over. I start talking about the flight and how scared I was when I didn't see anyone with a sign, and how my cell barely had a signal. He kept smiling. I thought it was a weird reaction, so I asked him if he spoke English, and he held up his thumb and finger as if holding a dart. "Little," he said. That was NOT mentioned from my friend of a friend.
So, I'm riding around in the Asian side of Istanbul with a stranger who does not speak English and drives like a maniac. To be fair, everyone drove like a maniac. I thought we were going to crash three times before we made it to Europe. Though he only spoke Turkish, he was really nice. He bought me Sprite and some pistachio sweetcake.
I stayed in Istanbul five days with no tour guide, no group tour, but I did stay in a pretty cool hostel. I met cool people, but I really should have investigated traveling around TURKEY and not just Istanbul.
I got harassed, well not harassed, but men did bother me. Always trying to talk to me, chatting me up, one guy even made me feel bad because I didn't want to go to his stupid carpet store (btw, EVERYONE owns a carpet store). But, people were really nice as well. Helped me with directions, and tips about where to get what.
I saw alot of travel blogs advising women not to travel alone here, but I did it, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
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