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 biweekly basis, with interesting updates from the city, 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 

    In July 2014, 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’

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

⁓ Wanderlust consommé 

    Having now lived in Istanbul since late September 2014, I have not only become more obsessed with soup than ever before (ezogelin and mercimek in particular) but have gradually adapted to the chaotic mishmash and hectic pulse of this fantastical city. I am beginning to feel at home amid the never-ending traffic, the dirt, the funky smells and the enormities of people everywhere. I’ve grown accustomed to the city’s cultural and sensory juxtapositions and highly bureaucratic systems. I am no longer flustered by the sheer intensity of commuting across the vast cityscape to and from work everyday and have even come to find comfort in such isochronism as the ongoing apple of discord between ‘the call to prayer’ and the constant 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.

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2014, Bird swarm in Eminönü, Istanbul

Taksim at sunset, Istanbul

2014, Taksim at sunset, Istanbul

Image 2

2015, İstiklal Avenue, Istanbul, photo copyright of Oliver Zimmermann 

 

* SOUP – Seeking Out Undiscovered Pleasures  

 

       

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