On The Menu

                                   For Starters___________________________________________________

⁓ Exposé chowder 

    Welcome to SOUP! As you may have realised, this is not a blog about soup. Although, incidentally, I have always been an avid soup lover… even before my recent migration from Bristol to Istanbul. Of course, now that I live in Turkey, my obsession with all things soupy has only deepened.

In SOUP you will find recordings of my Istanbul experience as I settle into living in this beautiful madhouse, as a foreigner. I will use this blog to chronicle my personal reflections on Istanbul’s vibrant people and places, arts and politics, culture and cuisine, as well as my general expatriate musings on Constantinople living. I will be posting new articles in SOUP on a weekly basis – at the weekend – and most cordially invite you to join me in my “outsider’s” exploration of the land where the continents collide. 

Istanbul art

2000 image of Istanbul, Turkey, by Marisa Mazria Katz, courtesy of NASA

⁓ Barmy Brits broth 

    Three months ago, my boyfriend and I set off across Europe together in a silver, short-wheel-base Toyota van, which we aptly named “The Van of Dreams”. Our summer road trip took us through over seven countries, thirty-five cities and across two continents. For almost two months and over 3,000 miles, we drove, dined, laughed, slept, and wept in our rattly makeshift mobile home – which carried us safely across varying terrain without so much as a flat tire. Finally, after a fantastic journey exploring parts of Europe we had never experienced before, we drove into Istanbul at midday on the 15th of September. We wove down the highway towards the city’s gigantic, jagged skyline, amongst the colossal phenomena that is Istanbul traffic, David Bowie blasting through rolled-down windows and all our worldly possessions clattering about in the back of the van. Our long-anticipated entrance to the city resembled a bizarre circus-road-show, rolling into town with many an obscure and curious story to tell. As we rambled along the jam-packed road to Istanbul, filled with electricity and slightly deranged by “road life” by this point, my boyfriend and I felt a huge sense of relief to have finally arrived at our long journey’s final destination.

On the road in 'The Van of Dreams'

2014 Road trip in ‘The Van of Dreams’


2014 Road trip in ‘The Van of Dreams’ – Bulgaria selfie, on route to Istanbul

⁓ Wanderlust consommé 

    This is my fourth week living in Istanbul now; and I have not only become more obsessed with soup than ever before (ezogelin and mercimek in particular) but have been gradually adapting to the chaotic mishmash and hectic pulse of the city. I am beginning to feel at home amid the never-ending traffic, the funky smells and the enormities of people everywhere; the sheer intensity of riding the Metro to work everyday and the ongoing apple of discord between ‘the call to prayer’ and the tootling of car-horns. The city, and all her frustrating and exhilarating quirks, is slowly becoming my normality. While I have to admit, moving here from the relative peace of Bristol was a bit of a culture shock at first; I do love the grit, grime and the purely unique pandemonium of this crazy city. I look forward to continuing to seek out what undiscovered pleasures she has to offer up to me.


2013 photo of lower Istiklal, Istanbul

Taksim at sunset, Istanbul

2014 Taksim at sunset, Istanbul


* SOUP – Seeking Out Undiscovered Pleasures  





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