Turkish Delight – A story of over-indulgence in Istanbul

My friend from home, Steven is well-traveled and has impeccable taste in design and food. Following my journey, he caught me in Istanbul and told me to check my PayPal Account.  I found a generous $50 gift designated for the glorious traditional Turkish breakfast at the Hyatt in Taxsim.  I made the reservation for my last morning, excited to wear my fancy dress and planning to check out of my hostel, leave my bag there, fully indulge in breakfast and have the rest of the day to explore before my evening flight. 

My dinner the night before consisted of some questionable shwarma and I woke up feeling bloated and tight.  As a lover of food and not one to break promises, I donned my fancy black and white dress with the cinched waist and opted to walk the 30 minutes to the Hyatt. 

The breakfast buffet was splendid, a grandiose arrangement of traditional Turkish fare-cuisine I had been eating each morning for free at my hostel. But, as he had dished out $50 for breakfast, I WILL get his money’s worth.  Fresh juice, sweet tea, fruit, olives, eggs my way, flat breads, sweet breads, baklava, cheese, torte, I ate it all.  I called him in the middle of the night, his time, and thanked him for the feast as I was finishing. 

Before we could hang up the phone, I knew I had overdone it.  I was almost curled over with cramps and my innards wrathful.  I swiftly made my way to the luxurious ladies room where I spent the next 30 minutes questioning my street meat choices, my indulgent habits and whether the waitress thought I ran out on the bill. 

With the passing of my funny tummy, I felt confident and fit to take on the day.  From breakfast I caught a tour boat guiding you through the city to the Eur-Asia divide.  It was a sunny, hot day and nice to be on the water.   As we finished, I noticed a large commotion near a docked boat.  I walked over and there in the middle was a man at a podium collecting money and stretching over to the boat for orders of fish sandwiches.  All sandwiches were the same.  Baguette, lettuce, onions and grilled fish. 

I start photographing the crowd and the cooks on the boat when they encouraged me to jump on.  Pushing through the crowd and onto the boat, I got a few more pics and was passed the spatula to start flipping the fish on the grill.  My presence and repartee inevitably slowed down the production and the hungry customers seem to be getting a bit irritable, but the guys on the boat were more than happy to be flirting with a western girl.  I was given a prime seat, a fish sandwich and a marriage proposal.

I left the dock and strolled through one of the busy indoor markets unbothered.  I boarded the metro and could have been mistaken for a leper.  No one would stand anywhere near me.  And then it hit me, the smell of fish.  I was a stinky girl camouflaged in a nice dress.  Back at my hostel there was no contesting the necessity of a shower.  They gave me a key, I bathed, packed away my fancy, fishy dress and off to the airport saving countless unknowing passengers from a long, malodorous flight.

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