Istanbul Aku Mai

by shz

(I’m only writing this because I just finished watching Istanbul Aku Datang. It was OK I guess. Watchable compared to some other Malay movies..)

I don’t really get most Malaysian’s obsession or fascination with Istanbul. Most Malaysians I met, actually. I found Istanbul disappointing, or maybe I shouldn’t have had any expectations to places I’ve never been. That is evident when I only had one short post about it in my blog almost 4 years ago. Or maybe I was 2 months pregnant at that time and hormonal. Or maybe because March wasn’t exactly the best time to go. Or maybe because there were 4 other friends who cancelled the trip at the last minute made it less fun than I anticipated it to be. Maybe it wasn’t Istanbul’s fault after all. Heh.

If there was a subject back in university that I had ever gotten a high score on, it was the Architectural History. Its pretty easy to be fascinated with the facts and pictures shown to you, then makes you dream of seeing it for yourself. I knew there were epic monuments to be visited and by epic I mean it in scale. I remember vividly my lecturer projected an old drawing of Ayasofya and how tiny people in the drawing were. So when I finally get a chance to go 5 or 6 years later, there is nothing but fascination that I felt. But then, I had always thought that the city or bazaar will sort of derive from all of these monuments, the Blue Mosque, the Ayasofya, Suleiman Mosque or Topkapi Saravi.. But they don’t. Instead all of these landmarks were scattered and being just a stand alone structure without anything remotely interesting surrounding them. The bazaar was nothing impressive like the ones in Morocco (I know its dumb to compare) although there was an interesting incident where Fakhrul and our friend Dr. Kam got to taste caviar for the first time for free. Eeww, of course I didn’t taste it. I didn’t care if I missed out, Daisy would’ve probably born 7 months prematurely if I did. Haha. The fact that the inside of Ayasofya were filled with scaffolding due to restorations were another let down. Kinda like the same thing I experienced in Piazza Novana in Rome, where the galleries were closed for restoration works. Always bad timing for me. But still glad I found a spot avoiding the scaffolding for this shot:


I wasn’t so keen with the food either. I thought all of those Turkish Delights were not so delighting, just another perplexing big fuss like those macaroons from Laduree. Too freakin’ sweet. And then there’s the bitterest tea I’d ever had and those salads without pretty dressings did not taste good. OK, this was just a personal preferences, but I think I did eat something nice otherwise how else did I survive 4 days there whilst pregnant?

One thing that is really great about Istanbul is the people. Photographing there was like a dream.. especially when what I prefer in photos are close contact with people. They are sooo nice and welcoming and some even pose when a camera pointed at them. They don’t have all this skepticism with cameras or irrelevant belief that your life is cut short when you’re in a photo like some Moroccans have. Or worse shooh you when they happen to be in the frame. Like this guy in this picture. Not even he stood where I wanted him, he even gave me his address and asked me to post his pictures. Of course I didn’t, thinking he must have assumed that I’m from some magazine with my giant camera. Tough luck!


Anyway these are other photos of Istanbul that I didn’t publish in here. Some shots are the same, but different. Hihi.