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Film Festival in Istanbul

Film Festival in Istanbul

While in Albania I realized that a friend from Brooklyn was in Istanbul. When I moved to New York City last autumn I couchsurfed with her for a couple of nights before I found accommodation (Couchsurfing in New York City), and I thought that it would be interesting to meet up with her again in another city on another continent.

She is a photographer who specializes in taking pictures of bald men’s heads from behind. Her photo subjects are, needless to say, unique. I really wanted to meet up with this person again so that I could see how her photography has been progressing in a country that can boast many men with shinny bald heads.

When I arrived in Istanbul I gave her a call. She told me that she was living in somewhere out of the way, and that we would try to meet up.
Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Istanbul, Turkey- February 22, 2009
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I received a text message from her today asking if Chaya and I wanted to go to a film festival with her.

Yes, we would love to go to a film festival but . . .

It costs 10 Lira per person. Total cost: at least 20 Lira, $14.

20 Lira is a good lunch in a restaurant for both Chaya and I for five days. 20 Lira is groceries for three or four days. 20 Lira is . . .

When your total net worth can be measured in three, rather than four or five, digits, you think about 20 Lira way more than you should.

It is good to not be so tight fisted in travel that you cannot breathe. But, on the other hand, it is not good to spend a few days worth of funds to be entertained for 90 minutes.

Is an hour and a half of occasional entertainment worth a half a week’s food expenses?

I have a tendency to be overly tight fisted when it comes to paying for entertainment. I know that I would enjoy just going for a walk with my friend, talking, and taking photos of bald guys for free as much as I would spending money to sit in a movie theater. Paying for entertainment seems blasphemous when you are in a city as naturally entertaining as Istanbul.

But most people do not travel like I do – I do not think that most people would want to. 20 Lira is nothing to most people. It is often difficult to explain the very real financial restrictions that travelers are held by to people who plan on going home.

I do not plan on going home, so I do not want to spend 20 Lira for a fleeting moment of entertainment.

“I do not mean any offense . . . but I do not want to pay to hang out with you.”

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Film Festival in Istanbul

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Filed under: Eastern Europe, Europe, Turkey

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3169 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Puketi Forest, New ZealandMap