Istanbul is an insane, insane city. I mean this in the best possible way. It’s home to more than 30 million people, a wide mix of arabs, jews, christians, and everything in between. The city center is pretty damn hip and people stay out partying all night. The old town is a hookah filled Ottoman hangout. And the area where the Women’s Tennis Championships were being held — well, outside the arena there was just… more insane hustle and bustle. A modern day spice market. A bazaar filled with hawkers and peddlers.
After experiencing the WTC and gawking at how big Serena William’s shoulders are from 30 feet away (another post coming up), I set out to find Doug. He had to leave the WTC early to take a business meeting. We made plans to meet at some cafe nearby that had Wifi around 11:30PM and catch the last midnight train back to where we were staying. It was about an hour and a half commute from our place to Zeytinburnu where the WTC was being held, and the commute involved switching off on trains and all sorts of circus. So I really didn’t want to lose Doug and have to figure out the way back by myself, sans map or internet.
I couldn’t find Doug. I went to the cafe we were supposed to meet at sat around for a few minutes, pretended to look at a menu. All the while I was thinking “fuck, we have to catch the last train back.” I went up to the waiter and tried to describe Doug. “IRISH.. BEARD.” Nope. I looked into his vapid eyes and didn’t see a morsel of understanding. I was getting a little panicky at this point and it was almost time for the last train to leave so I just sprinted to the train station and got on.
There were like 5 people on that train. Me, two Nigerian dudes talking loudly, and two guys who appeared to speaking Russian. The Russian guys were dragging a large body bag with him (it was probably an instrument or furniture… or a body). They got off at the most fucking random stops in the middle of nowhere. I was just huddled in the corner. The train ended up stopping early because the last train doesn’t go all the way, so I hopped in a cab and got out about 20 min from our place next to the Bosphorus. I’m getting pretty fucking worried about Doug at this point, cuz like I’m brown and I can survive in Asia but this is an Irish dude with a RED beard.
Anyway, I’m strolling along and I look up and I JUST FUCKING SEE DOUG STROLLING ALONG in front of me. At this point I’m 50% sure he’s in some Turkish prison somewhere. I’m like WTFFFF and I just casually spring up on him. Both our minds were blown.
(apparently, he waited for me and thought the train was leaving, so got on the train right before me)