Idil Baysal English 11
Mrs. Kelly 11/24/09
Sunrise in Istanbul
It was 5:30 in the morning as our sallow Renault cab crossed the Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul. Trying to ignore the cries of the wasted engine, I tried to devour those final 15 minutes before reaching the airport. The sky was an ocean of colors, changing from the deep purples to magnificent shades of lilac, like the scarves I had seen only a few days ago at the Grand Bazaar. The crescent moon hung in ...view middle of the document...
It’s a real challenge to sleep in Istanbul. There is so much beauty in its history and landscape; you forget you haven’t reposed in days. As I gave an unwilling attempt at a moment’s rest, the rich voice of the imams hypnotized me as they commenced their prayers for the new day. In a matter of seconds, not just in my ears but in my heart, I felt Istanbul freeing itself from the spell of nighttime. The seagulls swarmed around the minarets of the mosques in the distance, their cries leaving ghostly echoes in the sunrise.
As we drove along the shoreline, I beheld waiters in cafes setting up for breakfast. Carrying jars full of exotic jams, plates with tomatoes soaked in olive oil and lemon, they tended to their affairs, making my heart sink at the thought that life in Istanbul would go on without me. Every now and then I would catch a glimpse of a young woman washing the doorsteps of her home, and watch her herbaceous skirt dance with every jerk of her body and straw broom. Beads of sweat came running down the damp mocha skin that bound the face like a halo in the fore day sun.
Once again, I closed my eyes. In a few hours, this ottoman city, with all its majesty, would lay thousands of feet beneath me. No more would I inhale the aroma of bitter Turkish coffee—or hear the solitary sirens of the ferryboats that roamed the bosphorus through dawn and dusk. Past my mourning, however, an unfamiliar wave of emotion took over my heart. I realized that this was not the end—but the beginning of my affair with Istanbul. My departure would only ensure my next pilgrimage.
Reminiscing about the taste of sweet baklava I had earlier, my heart beat slowed, and sleep cradled my body.