Leaving Istanbul- Traveling to Eskisehir, Sanliurfa, SyriaThe way I figure it, there are five main reasons to travel to a city:1. to get drunk and party in bars2. to go shopping3. to get an education, to study something4. to get a job5. to get to a transportation hubOther than the above stated reasons, I have [...]
Leaving Istanbul- Traveling to Eskisehir, Sanliurfa, Syria
The way I figure it, there are five main reasons to travel to a city:
1. to get drunk and party in bars
2. to go shopping
3. to get an education, to study something
4. to get a job
5. to get to a transportation hub
Other than the above stated reasons, I have no idea why anyone would want to come to a city.
As for us, neither pregnant Chaya nor I have much interest in getting drunk in bars, shopping is always a nearly insurmountable chore anywhere in the world, and after finally graduating from university in December, studying is just about the last thing that we would want to do.
Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Istanbul, Turkey- March 4, 2009
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In point, Chaya and I came to Istanbul for one reason, and one reason alone: to work.
Our plan was to find some fly by night jobs as English teachers and take some bean money out of this stone cold city. Our first week here was spent in the dire rounds of finding a place to live. We moved between two good couchsurfing hosts for a week and then landed a cheap room in an apartment. We were now set to find jobs. I set out with this singular purpose and went in and out of four interviews without being bitten. Chaya got a bite taken out of her on her first go, and landing a job at an English teaching institute.
But she quickly realized that it was a place that she wanted nothing to do with it.
I believe swarmy was her adjective to describe it.
She walked out of training one night full of disgust, but she must have stormed out in style, for the company called her back a couple of days later for another shot at training. She did not take them up on their re-offer.
Chaya then went to another job interview with another English institute and got offered another job.
Pregnant Chaya is making Vagabond Wade look really bad.
It is a good thing for my pride that the company could not offer her work until three weeks from now.
By this time we should be long gone.
Istanbul has taken the bounce out of our steps. We need to find our waypoints again and connect them. We need to get back on the Open Road and be moving on. The prospects of sitting pretty in a big rainy city is not settling well in our guts.
With high handed smiles, we tried to force our square pegs into the circular holes of Istanbul, and only came to the conclusion that we are, in fact, square pegs. It is time to be moving on. Our feet are itching as we pass these rainy days settled on our butts – I, working on the computer, and Chaya, watching me work on the computer.
When the most interesting thing going on is me typing words into oblivion, it is time to be moving on.
This past week found Chaya and I doing anything in our power to indiscreetly not find work. Because landing jobs means staying in Istanbul. With shy faces we both admitted to each other last night that we really do not want to find jobs here.
Neither of us wants to stay in Istanbul.
The city is good. It is a good place to live, walk, relax. But if you do not like to go out at night and drink in bars, do not like to shop, are not going to university, and do not have a job there is little reason to stay in a city.
Waypoints through Turkey – Turkey Travel Plan
We connected some dots and layed out a path that looks like the above map: Istanbul to Eskişehir to Ankara to Şanlıurfa to Syria.
There are a few things that I want to dig into on this trip: the Meershaum mines and smoking pipe carvers near Eskişehir and an archaeology site near Şanlıurfa . So I bought a new suit, and am ready to again play journalist.
The money is tight, very, very, very tight. But I think we can maybe . . . just maybe make it to Cairo.
Leaving Istanbul- Traveling to Eskisehir, Sanliurfa, Syria
About the Author: VBJ
I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. VBJ has written 3657 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.
VBJ is currently in: Astoria, New York
July 5, 2010, 6:57 pm
I don’t know where you come from Wade & Chaya, but if you approach travel with that kind of attitude your memories will reflect the sour selfishness you displayed in Istanbul. So, your expectations weren’t met? Poor you! You probably made a very negative impression on the locals too. Open you minds and find a hearts and maybe you’ll get to enjoy the differences rather than criticising someone else’s country just because they didn’t fall worshipping at your feet. Who do you think you are? Grow up!
July 29, 2010, 8:31 pm
Glad you got a laugh out of it Wade. Your arrogance speaks volumes. My opinion is mine, and yours is yours. That’s fine, until you use it to advertise something you clearly don’t understand.
What you missed was the PEOPLE. Their lives are difficult enough without backpacers bleeding them. They are not there to feed your empty pockets as you skip through on your superiority tour. A reason you didn’t mention for staying in a city is to experience life from the perspective of others – something you weren’t interested in doing, and used only as an opportunity to criticise them.
The fact that you felt I was insulting you hints at your own underlying guilt. Maybe you could consider contributing to others’ lives instead of expecting them to provide ‘travel opportunities’ for you. Have another giggle, eh.
July 29, 2010, 10:10 pm
“They are not there to feed your empty pockets as you skip through on your superiority tour.”
Feed your empty pockets? That’s an interesting way to put it.
December 30, 2012, 7:16 pm
I just stumbled across this, along with the comments. My wife and I travel by dolmus, hitchhiking and bus throughout Turkey for two months each year. So far we have logged well over 5000 miles and over 100 cities. We speak some Turkish and a bit of Kurdish, and will be moving to Turkey for four years soon.
Having said that, we avoid the cities as well — especially in the west. There is something to see in each city, and we have our favorites. Mostly, though, we enjoy the rural areas (especially in the far east) and small towns or villages.
I just mention this so you won’t be depressed by those who consider you arrogant. It occurs to me that you may be a fellow spirit.
PS: I am known as “The American Mehmet” and as “The Wanderer” in Turkey.
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