A Turkish Snowstorm

Tonight is our last night in Istanbul after spending five lovely days in this vibrant city. Tomorrow we board a plane to Mumbai, twelve years after I first fell in love with the city. I cannot wait.

People of Istanbul are the nicest. Streets are charming; steep cobbled stone streets covered in layers of ice and snow. Fresh coriander and mint leaves in the food make exquisite dishes. Coffee is thick and strong. Acicular minarets tower up throughout the city, occasionally summoning the city to pray. The azan is magical, loud and makes your heart vibrate with its beauty. Moments after the azan, while heavy snowflakes wander through the air towards earth, the city becomes quiet. It reminds me of the quietness one finds up on a mountain away from everything, but here it’s in the middle of everything and only lasts a few moments.

The Egyptian bazaar is bursting with the smells of spices, freshly ground coffee beans and dried flower teas. Old and young men shout out, trying to lure you into their shops to offer you turkish delights and dried fruits. On the edge of bustling streets, oranges and pomegranates are squeezed to drink. Skewered chicken and mutton meat turn, ready to be sliced onto warm lavash or markook (turkish flatbreads).