December 17, 2011

Turkey : Istanbul (part 4)

Continuation from here ...

My phone battery went dead as I was about to send that one important text message. Damn it!!! We already agreed to meet up so I felt bad if I didn't show up. The cruise driver could actually drop me off somewhere in the city but I had no choice but to go back to the hotel.

Cordial House Hotel

Eh I haven't shown you the hotel, have I?

common room

dining hall / common room

The hotel also has kitchen if you wanna cook your own meal. It's a hotel that provides hostel facilities too. :D

my dorm

OK back to the story. Everything was so rushing then. I quickly went to my room and charged the bloody handphone. Turned on the phone and I got a message from Arina asking my whereabouts. So I told her of my situation and she agreed to wait for me. Thank God. So I waited for a while until I felt my battery was charged enough to last me till I met her.

I was feeling guilty as I made her wait so I wanted to reach Taksim Square, where we were gonna meet, as fast as I could. I figured the fastest option should be by taxi as taking a tram required me to hop on to another line to reach Taksim. So I stopped the first taxi in sight. As a result, instead of paying 2 TL for the tram from Chemberlitas to Kabatas and another 2 TL for funicular from Kabatas to Taksim, I had to pay 24 TL. It was supposed to be 10 TL but the taxi driver bloody cheated me!

no I didn't take the tram

no taxi pic so I put tram pic

He was all friendly to me while he drove, then suddenly when I was about to pay, he showed his true colors. The fare was actually 10 TL as shown on the meter but he demanded that I paid the fare in Euro. Clearly, some of the taxi drivers there are taking advantage of foreign travellers. I argued with him as I wanted to pay in the local currency but then he started to shout at me. I continued arguing but after some time, afraid of my safety (you know I imagined he would lock the door and drove me somewhere and do something bad to me.. God I have a big imagination!), I just stashed 10 Euro at him and quickly got out of the cab. T_T

Taksim Square is an open space where people just like to hang out. Arina texted me and said she'll wait at the monument. OK where the hell was this monument, I thought. I looked to the left, right, front and behind but the unfamiliar place made me so blur. Then suddenly, somebody patted my shoulder. I turned around and to my relief, it was her! We hugged like friends separated for years! Or rather... I, hugged her like friends separated for years! hahaha.. I was relieved I guess. She said she saw me from afar and how I looked like a lost puppy. hahahaha...

We talked and talked and talked while walking (till I forgot to take pictures of Taksim). I guessed she missed Malaysia so much so meeting a Malaysian really made her day. As for me, making new friend in a foreign land made my day.

Taksim Square is connected to Istiklal Street, Istanbul's prominent pedestrian street. At anytime of the day, the street is full of people strolling along the myriad of restaurants and shops.

We passed by S. Antonio di Padova Catholic Church. This is the largest church that is still used for religious activities in Turkey.

S. Antonio di Padova Catholic Church

Istiklal Street

There's an old tram passing by this street. Take a ride and just enjoy the journey. The tram may look old but the track is not. 

the vintage tram

We then took a ferry to the Asian side. Asian side is more quiet as here's mainly consisting of housing areas unlike the European side which is full of places of interest. But nevertheless, we walked around the area while she showed me the places that she always go. And yeah.. no pictures cos we were busy talking.

She then brought me home to meet her parents in law and had dinner together. Her mother in law actually cooked special meals that day to welcome me. *tears* They couldn't really speak English so we were practically using sign language to communicate, and smile smile smile. haha.. But they really tried to make me feel comfortable though I was a stranger. *tears more*

I miss you!

After dinner, it's time to go back. Although I said I could go back on my own, Arina and her husband insisted to accompany me going back. It was already late that time and he needed to go to the office the next day but still, they insisted cos they said I was their guest. So okay.. we walked to the ferry terminal. Then I thought they would just accompany me till there but they bought ferry ticket for me and the next thing I knew, all three of us were on the boat crossing the Bosphorus.

As we arrived in the European side, I was ready to say goodbye but again, they insisted to accompany me to my hotel. They really took care of me. *tears more and more* God, I am so thankful for the lucky moment where I met them in Cappadocia.

Till we meet again sister!  

No comments: