This is Istanbul, the city of beautiful street cats, the city coveted by empires over the centuries, the city of the Dardanelles, of eggplant, of sultans, of pretty silk scarves, of hills and bridges. This is the city of every kind of public transportation: ferries, trams, metro, trollies, busses, and funiculars. This is the city of roasted street chestnuts and bad haircuts.
I arrived yesterday at 2 am after our flight was delayed from Cairo. At one point, a voice had came over the loudspeakers and said, “The new time for the delayed flight to Istanbul will be announced….later.” It was never announced.
Nevertheless, we made it to our fun-sized hostel with fun-sized rooms and bathrooms, where your bum touches the door as you pull up your pants. And today, we ate breakfast. Oh the glory.
I believe in love, laughter, and breakfast. Sweet Lord in heaven is there anything better than getting up early in the morning bright, when mouth-breathing tourists like ourselves haven’t begun mobbing around the city? Is there anything fairer than winding down and around the hilly alleys of Istanbul lined with Smartie colored houses, and entering an establishment with yellow walls and cozy tables ? Is there anything better than being hungry for breakfast, the meal that will determine the rest of your life?
And what a treat this was, selected with the aid of the gentlemanly restaurant manager himself. I had never seen so many tiny dishes at a breakfast before. We ate cheeses, jam, butter, nutella, peanut butter, honey and cream, omelette, olives, hard boiled eggs, yoghurt and cucumber, and pure joy.
Anything was possible with this breakfast. Butter and jam, cheese and jam, nutella and jam, peanut butter and jam. Cheese. Egg and cheese. Egg and cheese and salt. Egg and cheese and salt and tomato. Egg, cheese, salt, tomato, and nutella. And so on. I could fulfill any dream I had, go past any horizon I saw. With regard to bread toppings, the sky was the limit, and I was in outer space, blowing moon bubbles with aliens.
After a while you stop trying to taste every possibility and instead just be with the breakfast and attempt to become one with the essence of the little dishes and the toppings. I failed, yet I shall try again. Mark my words, I shall try again.
And now, we’ll get a coffee and discuss what we want to eat for lunch. This is the nature of vacation.