We spent the end of March in Istanbul. Holy crap I loved it, even if I only got a tiny, teasing flavour of the city while knocking off some of the major sights – Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, cistern, grand bazaar, Topkapi Palace, Galata Tower… a boat cruise on the Bosporus. Like in Cappadocia, I found the people generally to be really warm – not just those in the hospitality/service industry. There was a guy who offered to make change for us for the tram, for example, when the newsstand couldn’t. And needless to say, we ate some good and some awesome food.
I’m reasonably happy with what we saw and did, especially considering that I fell down with The Sickness. Not as sick as Shanghai, but sick nonetheless. It started with feeling a bit gross one night after dinner which led to a revolting bathroom run at 2:00 a.m. – with a detour to the kitchen to fetch a pot. Yeulch. Fun fact: I could describe to you in great detail the last three times I’ve thrown up in my life. I won’t (you’re welcome!); it’s enough for you to know that since it’s a rare occasion I’m not exactly the best patient.
Luckily for me, I have a very understanding husband who dispensed an excellent mix of TLC (“I found you a popsicle and got you bitter lemon, dear”) and tough love (“Please, like you’re the first person to ever throw up and shit at the same time”). Unfortunately for him (or maybe fortunately, since it minimized my complaining), I slept for 18 hours. There was a point around 3:00 p.m. when I thought I might be up for going to Hagia Sofia, but bathing and clothing myself was so exhausting that I went back to bed.
In any case, I was sufficiently recovered 30 hours after it began to resume the sightseeing, even if I didn’t really resume eating normal meals until Casablanca. I was convinced I must have eaten something off, until Duncan complained of a weird stomach the morning of our boat cruise – our last day in Istanbul – followed by basically the same Sickness on fast forward. As mentioned, he’s a much better patient than I, so he survived the epic transfer to Casablanca with aplomb.
It was a shame to be miserable somewhere so awesome. Suppose I’ll have to make a return trip.