This morning we went on the Bosphorus cruise, a six-hour-long ferry boat ride that takes you to Asia. The views of Istanbul and its suburbs from the Bosphorus are magnificent. The prime real estate along the water consists of many fancy mansions.
The boat stopped for a couple hours in a fishing village called Anadolu Kavagi. For lunch we ate fried mussels and calamari that melt in your mouth, and the specialty of the island, sea bass.
There are two main things about Istanbul which make the city overwhelming, especially for first-time, young, female travelers: the traffic and the bombardment of men talking to you everywhere you walk.
The driving here is simply crazy. Drivers ignore pedestrians, dance around one another and disregard lanes. My driver claimed there is an order to the chaos. There must be because I have yet to see an accident. Add to the above trams, buses, motorcycles, cobblestones, lots of road construction, and the blinding sun and you have bunches of nervous-wreck tourists.
Turkish men are very creative with catcalls. There are the standards: “You are a beautiful girl,” “Oh my God,” “You are so hot,” “Sexy,” and “Wow.” There are some that are a step up: “You are a beautiful princess” and “I love you. Oh my god. I love you.” This morning we heard my favorite, “Aye! Charlie's Angels! Oh my God!”
What's more overwhelming, however, are all the restaurant and shop owners trying to catch your attention. In touristy parts they call out to you from everywhere. Waiters shove menus into your stomach. Scarf vendors tell you, “You are beautiful and you deserve a beautiful scarf.” Ice cream vendors call out, “Beautiful lady, do you want some ice cream? Ice Cream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream.” Instead of “Buy two, get one free,” we hear the purse vendor joking with us, “Buy two, get me free.” I really get a kick out of some of it. It makes for an invigorating walk through the Old Town.
About This Entry
You are reading "“Aye! Charlie’s Angels! Oh My God!”", an entry posted on 18 August 2008 by Jackie Steves.