It was one of those weekends that results in breakfast beginning at 2pm, grabbing more and more chairs for each arriving friend from all over the restaurant and the noise of tea glasses clanging, bread being torn apart and the bottoms of dishes being scrapped clean.
We had good cause for our ever expanding table. Our friend who works for the Turkish Foreign Service and stationed in South America has come for a quick visit! A group went to Atatürk Airport Saturday evening to greet him as he arrived and then a dinner of raki, fish and mezes in Kadiköy until way past our bedtimes.
We breakfasted for 3 hours in the mid afternoon, watching Bosphorus traffic, finishing off platters of omelets, butter, jams, olives, cheeses and honey.
One thought did occur to me as I looked around the table at the group of friend's O has made over the years: We have a neurosurgeon, a university professor, multiple engineers, a diplomat, an international business lawyer and well, these mutli-lingual, highly educated, kind, tax-paying people who imbibe in a bit of beer or raki every so often, eat pork and listen to rock music are the people that the government wants to punish for civil unrest. According to Beyaz TV, they are the types that drank cat blood in Gezi. Anyway, I digress...
I don't know who's plan it was, but somehow after "breakfast", but we crossed the street and hopped on to the ricketiest, little boat with a weathered sailor for a one hour boat tour.
Our vessel and its captain. The name of the boat was called "Umut" (Hope) as in we hope this thing is sea worthy. Our group took that risk and climbed aboard. We spread out on the cushions, lounging in the sun and breathing in the sea air.
We cruised north, under the FSM bridge and towards Istiniye passing by beautiful old wooden mansions converted into Bosphorus-side homes for the wealthy. Our little boat puttered along, rocking in the waves and stirring up some relaxed seagulls.
Everyone was trying to relax this weekend, birds included.
Oh, this old shack? Its only my occasional weekend home.
After an hour long round trip, we returned to Rumeli at just about sunset. Then took a walk down the along the strait.
While passing through Bebek, we had almond paste for dessert (Badem ezmesi) and I found more painted stairs.
Our walk continued further down until Arnavutköy where we grabbed the car and made our way home. It was getting late and our group was starting to peel away as Monday morning would come quickly and all those fancy jobs wouldn't do themselves.
We had a quick dinner of quintessential Turkish food since our friend was going back to a land that is sans iskender and pide. The boys relived their high school days by playing video games competitively until it was time to call it quits. In the wee hours of the morning, like a mouse our friend slipped out and off the airport.
The next time we see him will be when we visit him and his French wife (who was sorely missed!) on our honeymoon. That gives me 8 months to brush up on some Spanish!