Sometimes I think weird stuff happens only to me, and not just when I’m traveling but in my everyday life. Well, apparently my weird-stuff magnet came with me to Istanbul. With a city that enormous, and with as many people within the city on any given day, I reckon the chances greatly increase of seeing or being involved in an unbelievable ordeal.
The following is a sample of the wackiness we experienced. The incidents are listed in no particular order and no living creatures were harmed (that I know of):
- In the little park area near Blue Mosque, there was an older, well-dressed gentleman just sitting on one of the benches. He seemed harmless until we realized he was watching the ladies walk by and masturbating at the same time.
- Istanbul is home to many stray dogs and cats. I’ve come to terms with this reality while traveling in various parts of the world so I was prepared for it. But what I was NOT prepared for was the stray duck on the street across from our hotel in Sultanahmet. He wasn’t just passing through; he was a fixture. We saw him every day, just chilling on the street with the cats and dogs.
- The first night we encountered the stray duck, we also were witness to a crazy foot chase. No police were involved, but a surly teenager and a shoeless cab driver were. I am not 100% certain of the details, why the foot chase started; I can only guess that the teenager stole money from the cab driver and that’s why he started running after him. The driver – a plump, older man – jumped out of his cab, kicked off his shoes, and ran off after the teen all in one motion, his shoes left lying in the middle of the intersection.
- Mark was massively shat on by a seagull. Got his face and everything.
- I mentioned before that people in Istanbul have no concept of personal space. So I should not have been surprised when, riding the ferry from Üsküdar, an elderly woman wearing a hijab forced her way in next to where I was standing along the guardrail of the boat. She then proceeded to push me repeatedly in order to make room where there wasn’t any for other people in her party. Elderly or not, I decided to stand my ground against this woman and not let her push me anymore after she almost sent me overboard!
Mark and I already are laughing about (most of) these wacky moments and we’ll remember them forever. He isn’t too keen on talking about the seagull incident, though.