Istanbul after a long time

Istanbul after a long time…

The things that happened last summer which I’ll write about it later, and as it became easier for Chinese people to get Turkish visa on arrival, pushed the flight prices higher and higher and it exceeded my budget, I couldn’t visit Turkey.

I’ve never been away from my mom that long…we were doing Skype but she didn’t have a smart phone and her computer’s camera was not working so I was missing her so much…Living abroad and traveling for a long time is rewarding but on the other hand these have a lot of sacrifices, a lot…

GINGER IS IN SAFE HANDS

I have a cat in Shanghai called Ginger, I’ll share her story later. As I’ll be away for 5,5weeks, my friend Daniella took her to take care of her while I was away. I was happy as Daniella has a cat and a dog so ginger have 2 play mates that will keep her busy.

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“HAVE FAITH IN US…”

I started to search for cheap flight deals 2 months ago and I found a return trip ticket in Ctrip which is a deal-website widely used in China. It was 4,000RMB which was comparatively cheaper than Turkish Airlines flights which were around 7,000RMB minimum. I was gonna fly with China Southern Airlines for 13 hours with one connection flight so I said this was the best deal  I had seen so far and so I bought it.

It wasn’t hard to find that deal but the rest gave me a hard time…

“We are cancelling but we don’t know why we are cancelling!”

Less than a month before my flight…I was having brunch with one of my close friends and I was telling her the deal I got for my flight  and my phone rang..It was Ctrip telling me that they had to change the date of the connection flight to the next day and whether it was ok for me or not…I immediately asked the reason but they said they had no idea why they cancelled this connection flight on that day…I felt a bit down but as they didn’t give me any other logical choices, I accepted it.

The rest was like a reality show…

They called me four more times to change the date of my flight and the connections again… They passed me through one and another on the phone at the call center, I believe that most of them who spoke with me were trained to find the Hulk in the customer. They weren’t even helping me at all and it was high time for my Hulk to step in…

Me: “Are you kidding me??? You destroy all my plans, I am going to see my family and you’re cutting off from my family time… and what are all these changes without giving a proper reason? I won’t trust that airplane anyway…It doesn’t feel safe anymore…I am canceling it right now!!!!”

Call Center Lady: “Sure, you’ll get the refund in a month!

Me: “Where is your office? Are you out of your mind? This is unacceptable…You are making me change all my plans…eventhough I cancel my flight with you, the flights are now doubled and you say you’ll pay me back after a month…Is this a reality show? I am going to sue you right away! I am going to fly that day and that day and I won’t accept any other dates. If you don’t find a proper flight, I’ll write about you on every platform.  “

Call Center Lady: “Have faith in us… I’ll make sure you fly on the dates you mentioned but just have more faith in us…”

Me:”……….” I didn’t expect to hear these words so I was like ok…

Call Center Lady: “I am going through the flights now, ohh there is only one available seat in Turkish Airlines. Do you wanna fly with…?”

Me: “Of course, yes, yes” I was so happy to hear Turkish Airlines…but it wasn’t going to be that easy of course…

Call Center Lady: “It is not certain yet but we’ll get back to you in a week whether it is positive or negative…”

Here the torture is like that…They torture you with your time…5 days passed by but no news…but I was kind of calm as she said “have faith in us…”

A week later

I got a phone call…”Send us your passport’s scan-copy and we’ll buy your ticket but it is still not clear!”…I didn’t even ask why they were asking for my info that I already had given them in the first place…I took a picture of my passport and sent it to them and started wait again…

Couple of days later

“Your seat is reserved in Turkish Airlines!” news just came at the right time as “I was like hmmm should I be worried, nahh”…The best thing you learn in China is being patient with everything…Sometimes things may cause you to lose your nerves and you just can’t hold it but you get to learn how to pick the words and they work for you…

I actually appreciate Ctrip to finally put me in the right flight and I hope I don’t have to fly with China Southern Airlines again…

FINALLY COMING TO ISTANBUL…

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What do you do in your free time at the airport? Telling stories to the kids running around you and trying the traditional dresses…As you know I love bookstores at the airport…Yes, I love Duty Free as well but I generally lose my smell sense by trying more than 10 perfumes and leaving without buying any cosmetics…so bookstores are safer for me and like heaven…

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Who is in the next seat?

We gathered with my friends before I leave for my flight and one of them said “I hope there will be a very handsome guy sitting next to you so that you won’t lose yourself in your book’s pages…What do you think happened in reality?

IMG_6650Of course, the expectations didn’t meet the reality haha..What we say in this situation is “it is faith at the end.” right? haha..

Lost in translation

The old guys sitting next to me were very funny but they were speaking with me in English and I was answering in Turkish assuming that they were Turkish. Even the cabin crew was talking to them in Turkish. As they kept talking to me in English, I had to ask their nationality and they were Arab. We laughed so hard as me and the cabin crew tortured them by answering them in a language that they had no idea about…

The other thing is the cabin crew was speaking English with me even though I was answering in Turkish. I had to say ” I am  Turkish and my Turkish hasn’t changed that much come on” haha, we laughed out loud again…At breakfast one of the cabin crew came to me and asked the name of the Chinese dish that they were about to serve cause they forgot to write the name of it… We laughed out loud again…It was so much fun…

LET ME EAT MY “PUACA” FIRST AND THEN POSE, WHAT IF SOMEBODY BUYS ALL OF THEM BEFORE I DO HAHA

IMG_6685I finally arrived Istanbul…Because of the habit I guess, I found myself lined up in the passport check for foreigners haha…

The thing I missed a lot is “Puaca”, a Turkish pastry… “Simit Sarayi” at the airport, the name of the shop  is the one that can help me about it fast…I got most of the “Puaca”s and got a glass of lemonade and start eating them while waiting for the sun to rise…I started to think how much I’ve changed and how many things I accomplished even though people had told me that all of them had been “impossible” to do… I hate that word! Thinking about what I want more, what I can do more…There are a lot to write and share…I feel really emotional but I’ll keep it for the home and now it is time to catch the sun rise and to go home…

 MY MOM…

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Finally gave a big hug to my mom…I couldn’t hold it anymore and started to cry…

I forgot how tired I was and we started to chat for hours while having breakfast and then lunch…then I fell asleep

The families of travellers need to do a lot of sacrifices like the person who is far away…Missing so much, what to tell to relatives and other people on why their son/daughter lives abroad and travels for a long time, sometimes has to answer ‘ ohh is she/he not gonna come back?” and all these emotional baggages…

The rewars of this lifestyle is huge but nothing comes free…you get to know the value of people in your life more and you enjoy every moment rather than living in the past or worrying for the future, you are in this constant learning mode and you grow internally…you step into a different level! How many of you can understand what I am talk about?

MEETING WITH AMAZING HEARTS

I caught a cold as soon as I walked out of the airport. I was able to go out only 3 times to meet my friends and the rest was lying on my bed and trying to recover…The next time I visit Istanbul, hopefully I will be able to see more friends…

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We keep in touch and support each other even though I am far far away…We met up in Ortakoy, one of my favorite places in Istanbul…I was sweating so much that I had to carry extra clothes with me to change all the time…

My mentor that I knew from Deloitte, Ms Sibel

In 2013, couple of weeks ago before I went to China, I saw Ms Sibel walking in the metro, instantly I called her name and ever since before I am off to China, we meet up at her store in Metro City Shopping Mall and have amazing conversatins about life and she always gives me amazing books to read in China…I am so lucky that  I saw her that day at the metro and still in touch with her.

Meeting with lovely Turkish travelers

Before coming to Istanbul, I posted on Facebook saying that I was coming and wanted to meet fellow travellers. Immediately an event formed and I got to meet the travellers, my readers and my friend Eser, Senem who visited me in Shanghai and brought me a lot of Turkish food, Fatih from Deloitte and Mr Hakki who was my first boss in my first internship. You know that old freindships never get old, only get better…With old and new friends, it was a great night…Here are the blogs/social media platforms of the lovely travelers I met:

Ismail Acar: www.instagram.com/superacar.travel , Cemre Nur Melikehttp://gezginkadinlar.com ,

Sevil Mert: http://cokokuyancokgezen.com , Zehra Simay Serdaroglu : http://supernicevisit.com ,

Gokhan Erdogan: https://www.uzakrota.com , Serhat Oz: http://www.sozyal.coElcin Kisacik: http://www.gezielciniz.com/,

Alper Metin: http://www.celebialper.comKadir Pirasaoglu: http://www.gezginruhi.com

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2 weeks went by so fast and it was time to catch my flight back to Shanghai and then off to Vietnam for my backpacking trip…Stay in touch guys:)

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