On Friday morning, I took the Metro Bus (first time!) from Kadikoy to Perpa in order to apply for my E-2 Visa to teach English in Korea. After filling out some paperwork, I had plenty of time left in the day to do some exploring. Walking away from the sun, I figured I was heading westward toward my eventual goal; once I got to the Bosphorus I could take a ferry back to Asia. (Un)fortunately, I got very lost in the huge district of Kagithane.
From no vantage point could I see the water and I couldn't really figure out my cardinal directions. I knew it was going to be a long walk, Istanbul is a gigantic city, but I figured I'd be able to find my way. Instead, I spent two or three hours walking around in a huge spiral looking for signs that would lead me to a part of the city I actually knew. At one point, I stopped for a drink. I love how different countries have very similar products, but with slightly different names. I don't know if Le' Cola is a French product or what, but the green soda that I chose tasted a lot like cream soda. With my can of Fer Gazoza in one hand and a delicious doner kebab in the other, I hoped I would have enough energy to continue hiking up and down these hills searching for the sea, but I slowly became more and more worried. What if I was walking in the wrong direction? The sun was around noon, so I couldn't positively know if I was going east or west. Kagithane is definitely not a tourist destination, so I didn't expect anyone to speak English and the only thing I can do in Turkish is ask for two beers. I was starting to freak out when I finally spotted a minibus that said 'Metro Bus'. After deciphering which bus would bring me to the Metro Bus and not closer to Bulgaria, I paid a lira and a half for a 'seat' on the minibus. Katy warned me about these minibuses and I see why; in a vehicle the size of a minivan, twenty-five or thirty people were packed in. Even though the driver couldn't shut the door, he would stop and pick up some more commuters. The dolmus are comfortable and convenient, the minibus has neither of these features. I was just excited to get back on the Metro Bus and back to Katy's apartment.
|A neighborhood in Kagithane|
|Kagithane is pretty residential: broken down cars and kids doing laundry|