Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The hunt for Bagdat

For the last couple of days I have been trying to get some writing done. I haven't done too badly actually, although a few late social ( shock/ horror) nights has meant that I have been getting up quite late. Still I have always tried to reach my scheduled target of writing hours - in between discovering if my oven works and giving Three-paw a bath! Yes my friends, she was briefly the shiniest cat in Istanbul . I wanted to stick her on a post and make her a lamp, she shone so brightly. A day later though she came back with black feet and a gummy tail.
Anyway today I decided I needed to go exploring especially since the weather is nice right now and soon I am sure it will not be.  So  down  I threw my mighty pen and on came my socks'n sandals instead. I decided I would go to Kadikoy and try and find the infamous Bagdat Caddesi (Street) which so many of my students have mentioned. I tried a few weeks ago to find the street and failed but this time I studied Google maps with the determination of a person who did not want to fail for a second time.
First of all, however, I went to take some food to a den of pretty much eyeless cats I discovered the other day but as I was walking towards them a silver, gleaming BMW suddenly turned up. Out popped a man in a suit with bags of food which he then started filling all the empty containers with. I nearly cried with joy as I watched him. The compassion I see on the streets here sometimes very nearly kills me.

I decided to take the ferry to Kadikoy as I love the journey. I love ordering a Cay ( tea) and sitting in the saloon watching the choppy waters which separate Europe from Asia.

Once there I began my bold march to Bagdat.
I did not succeed.
Somehow I ended up on a lovely stroll alongside boats and cafes instead. It wasn't a scenically spectacular walk but it was interesting and I liked seeing all the leafy boulevards and Asian cats. I eventually found a Kahve Dunyasi which I was able to appreciate though a mushroom fountain.  Kahve Dunyasi is the best friend of the coffee bean I do believe and they serve their cappuccinos with a chocolate spoon.

Buoyed by coffee I continued my hunt for Bagdat but ended up having to accept defeat once again. This leads me to believe that (a) it does not exist (b) Google Maps is wrong (c) I am wrong.
 I am pretty sure it is (c) actually. I just don't feel maps. I can feel the direction I need to go in but I can't read maps.
Never mind on my way back I stopped in the markets and saw some fish thrashing about in a bucket. I paused for a moment and seriously considered buying the whole bucket so  I could release all the fish. But then I had no idea where i was going to take them all and I also realised be there is always one more bucket. There is always one more cat, dog, bird, cow, goat etc.
Sad face.
I decided to head back to the ferry terminal instead which is when I realised I was being followed by a very shady looking man. I knew he was following me because he saw me across the street and as I crossed he started heading with purpose directly down to where I was. The thing that disturbed me was when I looked at him he looked straight back and he seemed determined. I ended up standing next to a family at some traffic light with my bag on their side while he came up next to me. The lights turned green to walk so I paused for a second while he marched straight forward. By the time he turned round to see if I was walking I had raced off to the left into a thick group of people (thick in size of course not mentality!). I could see him searching around the crowds trying to work out where I had gone.  It gave me a chill.
 Now though I am safely home. It was a good day really. Eclectic all the same.

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