From Syria to Poland: across the land and sea

I left too much and nothing at the same time. By “too much”, I mean almost all of my material possessions (except my laptop and some pieces of clothing), all the things and places I was attached to. By “nothing”, I mean that somehow I could detach myself from the things and places I loved.

The Overlords of Istanbul

I have noticed long ago (thanks, WordPress Stats) that a disturbing amount of people gets referred to my blog by search engines (presumably Google). Well this would not be a disturbing thing if the keywords they were searching for weren’t ’Somali girls fucking’, ‘Burmese girl big ass’ or ‘where to find sex in Nairobi’. I was…

Istiklal Avenue: the Digestive Tract of Istanbul

Cheesy guidebooks will call Istiklal Caddesi and Taksim ‘the heart of Istanbul’s nightlife’. I would rather compare it to a digestive tract. The more you come to Istanbul, the more thoroughly you get fermented and digested by Taksim’s juicy smells of roasted chestnuts and boiled mussels – the ultimate star-rated delicacy for alcohol-induced and unable…

Into the Borderlands: Between Baklava and ISIS

’Suruç, Suruç, I went to Suruç the other day’, I told the couple that happened to pick me up on the way from Göbekli Tepe to Urfa. Göbekli Tepe is the newly discovered archeological site and possibly the oldest temple on our planet, dating back to an ancient Neolithic civilization of 9,000-10,000 BC. Suruç, on the other hand,…

Wanna see my bouncy castle?

^^ This pickup phrase is almost as cool as my own (which I, in turn, borrowed from Zaphod Beeblebrox himself, along with his underwear). Except, I might actually never find my spaceship, while Thomas definitely can show you his bouncy castle. Meet Thomas who calls himself the Bouncy Castle Ambassador. ‘My mission is to bring…

Exploring Hipstanbul: Karaköy shenanigans

I cannot think of a better way to spend a summer night in Istanbul than to have a walk in the badly-lit creepy alleyways of Karaköy. Once part of the Galata district, a semi-autonomous Genoese colony within Constantinople, Karaköy used to be an important port, place where all cool Byzatine kids hung out and played….

Istanbul – Feriköy: the bazaar of bizarre things

Who doesn’t like buying junk? Golden junk, silver junk, paper junk, aluminum junk, steel junk, wooden junk and all other sorts of things you buy to personalize your living space and show off, elegantly and subtly. Antiquity stores, vintage flea markets, stockpiles of old stuff – whatever you call these places. They are awesome. Well…

Notes from a Big Island – Istanbul, Büyükada

This might become the best memory you’ll bring home from Istanbul. Not the missile-looking minarets of the Blue mosque, not the old rocks of Topkapi Palace, not the crazy nights till dawn along the drunk-packed alleyways of Istiklal street, not even that 100th kebab or mussel consumed there at 5am to fight the munchies. The…