🇹🇷 See you soon, Istanbul.

A creepy ad for a restaurant, a man holding food with a painted beard.

☕ Final breakfast in Istanbul.

☕️ I might have had a double shot espresso a bit too late in the day…

Yay to new toys!

We’re getting closer to the point where life can be breathed into Neatnik Accounts!

🚀 25 Days of omg.lol · 2023, Day 3

🚐 Tomorrow morning we’re on the move again. Cappadocia, here we come. May the weather gods by with us.

Istanbul, it was a pleasure to meet you.

🇹🇷 Mosques by Night

Had to go out again, picking up dinner for the little one, and get some more cash from the machine. Opportunity for one last look at the neighborhood’s mosques.

This is the best neighborhood for mosques, by the way.

A mosque by night, beautifully illuminated.

A couple by a roasted corn stall. The woman is holding an umbrella.

Detail of a roasted corn stall, smoke coming out of it, and plenty of corn, ready to eat.

A man takes a selfie with a mosque in the background.

🚕 The Taxi Situation

A yellow taxi drives by.

When reading about Turkey, and Istanbul in particular, from a travel point of view, taxis will always come up. It’s a fact.

“Beware!”, “Be afraid!”, “Scammy as hell!”, “Crooks!”. Almost like back home, at the airport, in the 90’s! I grew up with these cabbies!

We took a taxi yesterday morning, for a short ride. Meter turned on as soon as I requested it. He had asked for 300. Turned out to be an 80 lira ride. Good.

Later in the day we took another one, meter was on as soon as we stepped in, we paid the fare at the end. Good.

Civilized after all, I thought. Yeah… Sure.

Today we needed one, as it was raining, and we were in no mood to have tinyMovieStar wet.

We got in. The gentleman was smoking. Windows were closed. I asked him to extinguish the cigarette, as a child was now sitting on the back seat. He agreed, but didn’t do it. I told him where we were going. It was the same place as the day before, the 80 lira ride. He asked for 600. I did my best “Are you fucking crazy look”, and said he should turn on the meter. He growled, said no, and puffed on the cigarette. Nice.

We stepped out while he did all that. Girls took cover, I remained in the street, trying to flag another one.

He came after a couple of minutes. I told him where we were headed, and that we wanted a metered ride. He agreed. We got in.

A minute later I noticed the meter was somehow on, but not correctly so. It was not counting up as usual, the cost was hidden.

I told movieStar to be ready, they should step out as soon as we arrived. Things could get ugly.

It took us a bit longer, traffic was hectic (surprisingly). I had a 200 note ready. I knew it was a bit more than yesterday, it did take us a little longer to get there.

When we arrived at our destination, he checked the meter, and said, with a straight face: “800”. I almost laughed. Instead I just gave him the 200. He asked again, said “traffic”.

I looked back, this time with my “you really don’t want to do get into this with me, it will not end well” face. I stepped out, girls waiting for me on the sidewalk already.

He decided it was best to go, and slowly drove away, looking at me, menacingly. But he did drive away.

This is the one thing I get tired of, easily, here. This “let me see how much money I can squeeze out of this sucker tourist” mentality.

It. Is. Exhausting 🇹🇷

🇹🇷 Mosque Day

People stand inside Hagia Sophia, a beautiful mosque.

Inside of Hagia Sophia, a mosque.

People take photos outside the Blue Mosque.

Looking up into the ceiling of the Blue Mosque.

🐌 Istanbul: the place where Google Maps ALWAYS tells you the estimate for walking is lower than driving. No matter the distance.