Tuesday, May 08, 2007

What Not to Do

Go crazy in the duty-free shop in Milan buying salame, pesto, limoncello, etc., because it makes your suitcase very heavy.
And here’s what you have to do to get from the Istanbul airport (on the European side) to the train station (on the Asian side):
1. Repack your suitcase on the floor of the baggage claim. A friendly Turk may help you get it zipped back up because it’s so full.
2. Take the metro from the airport to Aksaray. Easy.
3. Leave the metro station up steep steps. Cross over one block to the tram station. Try to take a taxi there, but get mad at the driver and get out when he tries to cheat you (don’t know any swear words in Turkish, but he got the picture…)
4. Go up and down steep steps over a bridge to get to the tram. It starts to rain.
5. Take the tram to Eminonu ferry station.
6. Go down and up steep steps under the highway. Get on the ferry. There’s a lightning storm.
7. Get out at Kadikoy because the ferry passes and doesn’t stop at the train station. Walk 15 minutes back to Hydarpasa. Keep in mind that no sidewalks in Turkey are smooth, but brick with few ramps. You’re lucky if the wheels don’t break off your heavy suitcase. Better to take your chances in the street and dodge dolmuses.
8. Arrive at Hydarpasa and reward yourself with a balik ekmek. A friendly Turk will help you get your bag in the luggage rack because you’re exhausted.
This is my 200th post!

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