Istiklal Caddesi-Shopping Boulevard like None Other


Day 3: April 12th 2011

 

This is the place we went to after we finished with a massive tour of Turkey via Miniaturk. After Miniaturk, we got some chocolates for the road and debated about taking a bus/cab to our next destination.

Every Country has one of those lanes filled with shops with gorgeous clothes and accessories which males think is their worst nightmare…(=:P Imagine, a credit card war…one chick trying to outdo the other…with the poor dude running behind wid a dozen bags!!)

 

Located in the historic Beyoğlu district, it is an elegant pedestrian street, approximately three kilometers long, which houses exquisite boutiques, music stores, bookstores, art galleries, cinemas, theaters, libraries, cafés, pubs, night clubs with live music, historical patisseries, chocolateries and restaurants.(=Believe me the chocolates are GOOD)

Soo this is the slightly more posh area (=Equated to umm say Walkeshwar with a shopping boulevard or Pali Hill etc etc).

When we took a cab from the Miniaturk we could sense that as we drove from Istanbul suburbs to the business boulevard and to Taksim Square.

 

There is only ONE way you can see IstiKLAL Caddesi, and that’s by tram…you can walk but that’s peasant like…live life King Size…Take the Tram

But like i said…”Hungry people don’t make good travellers and neither do they write ;)”

So we went to BURGER KING!!!! Umm vegetarians will not find some good grub in Chain stores like Mac/Pizza Hut/Burger King/BBQ Chicken…Its like they roam with signs saying “MEAT EATERS ONLY”

But..bUt and BUT…roadside stalls will gladly make u a doner with vegetables and fries so don’t lose that smile 😀

Alright the best part for us was that the Istanbul Shopping Festival was on which meant that a lot of shops were selling great stuff at super good discounts. Discount =Indirim in Turkish and in some places it was Big= Buyuk Indirim or Small = Kuchuk Indirim (=Damn cute na!! My cousin couldn’t stop laughing when we said that)

The first thing you need for shopping, Cash….which we changed in the change office. It was quite an interesting Change Office because the had old Turkish notes framed in the wall and had mentioned the exchange rate of the Turkish Lira vis-a-vis the USD and there were times when the Turkish economy was in a bad state and the exchange rate was 500TL for $1.

There was Accessorise, the uber cool store with accessories too expensive for people to buy..This one though had bags and chappals made in China and Stoles “Made in Mumbai, India” That was such a proud moment, seeing those 4 words 😀

We stopped at a Store and picked up a pair of jeans for my sis. That shop had the most awesome discounts with a lot of clothes going for under Rs 300 😀 😀 While we walked we saw the Greek Embassy. We realised that this street had buildings which were very well done with a lot of delicate carvings. We were also to realise that this street had many more embassies and also one of Turkey’s most famous educational Institutions.

You won’t believe how crowded this street is. There are so many people who use the boulevard, all of them who are really pretty. Oh one of the things i forgot to mention that at the entrance of Istiklal Caddesi there was a giant shoe, made of many many shoes..it was a party slipper actually 🙂

 

There are several by lanes which lead us to many different spots i guess but we didn’t explore them. Also there were a lot of carts selling Kestane!!

 

 

 

But the best of the lot was the chocolate store that we went to which had been there since 1924..(=Talk About Old). It sold the yummiest chocolate with pistachios and hazelnuts. Plus there was white chocolate too!!! MMM..we did buy some btw!!

Next Up was..

 

Galatasaray Square is located at approximately the center of the avenue and is home to one of the finest educational institutions established in Turkey at the time of the Ottoman Empire;originally known as Galata Sarayı Enderun-u Hümayunu  now known as the and today known as Galatasaray Lisesi.

We suddenly came to this square where the boulevard widened..we looked and in front of us weremajestic iron gates and a huge, really huge palatial structure which is the Galatasaray Lisesi 🙂

There we saw a shop selling Simit (=bread with sesame). it not only has simits but a whole range of breads and pattisiere (=Yumm) and in all sorts of sizes with the most awesome glaze and chocolate drops!! And the icing was drop dead delicious looking..i said LOOKing,,we didn’t end up eating any though. There were also a range of sandwiches with varied fillings. A yumm stop.

A little ahead of it the boulevard continued again with an array of shops and Embassies of different countries, each with a more magnificent castle as their own. Also there was a church, some food, some wacky stuff, a ride back, and the night view…

But that’s of course another story

Stay Tuned!!

Flowers Everywhere

 

Independence Monument-Taksim

 

In Miniature!!

 

Tram-The Only Way of Travel

 

Haute Couture

 

Indirim!!!!=Discount

 

OMG Wht the..

 

Istanbul Shopping Fest

 

Maviii ❤ Blueee
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The One That Got Away


The One That Got Away

There was a sharp pull in my right foot as I ran to catch a train. The more I pulled, the harder it became to go ahead. Until I stopped. And let that train go away.

As I ran towards the platform, waiting for another one, it pained me that I had let that train go away. That I was late for class is a given but the whole system of running from one place to another was taking a toll on me.

The more you push yourself headlong into the world, the more it tries to bounce you out. They didn’t come up with ‘push or perish’ for any specific reason. Our whole life it’s been, push yourself to get better results, push others to make your way to the top, push your point to win an argument, push so you can get your work done fast without worrying about the consequences.

A very wise man once said to me that the world expects you to be like the moon and show only your bright side, the one lit by the sun. What everyone fails to realise is that there is always a dark side, a flip side, the back side that nobody sees. It’s become such a routine really. Sometimes it feels like we’re playing very well cut out roles in someone else’s Iliad or Odyssey.

I wondered how it came to be this way, all of us acting different lives everywhere. Putting on a face at work, pushing through the week with glassy eyes and then pushing through the weekend dreading the week ahead.

When we were small, they told us about values and ethics and how to be a good girl/boy. And the minute we started dreaming, they wanted a share of that too. It’s like the whole world is out to tax every bit of your happiness that you must share. Even though your arm is twisted, you have to smile.

All my life at least, I’ve been told to grow up. To take on responsibilities and to do things simply because they should be done.  Even I haven’t spared myself some downgrading critique when I didn’t come up to someone else’s words.

When did letting a train go become such a crime? When did we start taxing smiles and exempting anger, moodiness and arrogance? How did we come to function like “adults” but instead displaying the most childish behaviour everywhere? And then we complain of meltdowns and curse ourselves when sometimes we just can’t help crying for no reason at all.

Indeed I’ve come to realise that life is what slips by when we push to stay in the train. Maybe those few minutes looking at yourself in the mirror weren’t so bad. Maybe I can cut myself some slack if I fall asleep while watching TV. Maybe you can just laugh at your mistake instead of wanting to kick yourself.

Maybe letting go isn’t so bad after all. Maybe, in a hidden way, we all hope someone helps us let go and grow up after all!

Walk Alone but Walk Strong!!!

Dear Mama


Dear Mama,

I know i know its been a long time since i’ve written but these beastly schedules!!! I know you’re keeping very well. I think about you every day you know, remember those holidays at the beach when i used to build those castles and you got me the good ol’ chocolate ice from Mr Jones’s stall. I wish i’d get a break like that or that we could go to the beach together. Work’s been keeping me busy these days. I’ve been getting to learn a lot of new things. Its a little stressful but i wake up in the morning remembering your smile and that keeps me going.

I really wish you could see my apartment now. I’ve got some new stuff you’d like. I also finally got those paintings up which you’d kept in the attic all along as a memory. I thought that you were being funny keeping random bits of paper with my name and some random lines representing art, But now i see your point. These random bits remind me of you!!

Work is going good albeit a little tough. There are a lot of times when i remember those anecdotes you’d told me when i was growing up. You should see how I’ve changed from your “small cutie pie” to an “urban working woman.”

I wish i could tell you everyday about what happens, how the neighbors keep fighting or how my cooking is going by. I wish i could tell you how much i miss you when i need to go shopping. I wish i could hold your hand. There are times when i wish i could go inside the frame and hug you tight and never let you go.

There is so much i want to tell you. And so much of it i do tell you, through my letters. I miss your fragrance, that favourite perfume of yours, those pies you used to bake, those parties you dressed up for. There’s so much you’ve missed being a part of. So much i want to show.

I’m rendered helpless though. I know you had to go. I know you were in pain. I know it was for the best. But I can’t help wondering why the world’s sweetest, most understanding and accomodating mom who cooked the best food, took me to the best places for holidays and listened to my every rant and rave..had to go.

I could never even tell you how much I loved you when i held your hand that day. Words failed me as i looked at the serene smile on your face, as i saw life leave those eyes, to travel into a world of their own. I just knew that you’d left behind the world a much better place. And i loved you for that.

Waiting for a pat before i sleep

Loads of Love

Nina

(Dedicated to a mum who left behind a beautiful world, whose smile made a family smile)