La cucerit Istanbulul (The conquest of Istanbul)

Am plecat din Bucuresti pe fondul sosirii Marii Delegatii Chineze pentru colaborare si dezvoltare, asadar in aeroport si pe strazi se putea observa sporirea numarului fortelor de ordine. Cand am pasit in aeroport am realizat ca ultima data cand am mai strabatut coridoarele acelea a fost cand m-am intors in primavara din Nepal… Aceleasi proceduri, aceeasi scoatere a curelei, aceleasi check-in-uri, dar de data aceasta am primit bonus din partea agentiei aeriene invelitul bagajelor de cala. Nu e mare branza, dar daca vrei sa nu te trezesti cu el patat sau sfasiat e un lucru bun.

Am ajuns la poarta de imbarcare, dar acolo am avut parte de prima piedica. Cum culoarele aeriene sunt limitate pe cerul de deasupra Otopeniului, sosirea delegatiei chineze ne-a amanat plecarea cu vreo ora. Nimic grav, ca nu ne grabeam chiar atat de tare, dar am mai pierdut putin timp din cel alocat pentru plimbare in Istanbul. Daca tot ajungeam mai devreme decat data trecuta, puteam sa dam si noi o raita – nici eu si nici Alina n-am mai vizitat orasul. Ea mi-a povestit ca era s-o faca odata, avea bilete si totul, dar au impiedicat-o niste ghipsuri neanuntate cu putin timp inaintea plecarii. Ma interesa si pe mine sa-l vad, asa ca am convenit sa dam fuga in timpul pe care-l aveam la dispozitie (avionul catre Sharjah pleca la 00.30).

Am iesit din aeroport, am luat un bus pana la Taksim, piata lor centrala din partea europeana a orasului, am platit vreo 5 euro pentru un bilet, iar pe o ploaie oarecum descurajatoare am zis ca „totusi vom vedea orasul”.

Surpriza placuta a fost ca dupa ce am trecut podul dintre continente peste Bosfor norii s-au rasfirat, iar soarele, desi nu era foarte puternic, mai scapa niste raze de lumina.

Ne cam era foame, asa ca am facut un picnic ad-hoc in parcul Taksim – cel de la care au pornit revoltele de curand. Chiar era pacat sa-l desfiinteze si pe ala – se construieste in draci in tot Istanbului, pe toate dealurile, mai peste tot santiere, dar sa distrugi si ultima urma de verdeata din zona era cam strigator la cer. Ii inteleg pe cei revoltati.

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Dupa gustarea scurta – nu prea aveam chef sa mananc mult – am purces spre cea mai apropiata strada care sa ne aduca aminte de un bazar. Am auzit multe povesti legate de aceste exprimari comerciale de factura turceasca si voiam sa vad si eu cum e sa fii tras de maneca. Nu ca in Nepal sau India n-am mai trecut prin asta, dar parca turcii sunt mai apropiati de noi – doar ne-au cotropit atata timp… Aproape ca-i putem considera rude cu noi dat fiind numarul ienicerilor si a urmasilor acestora – chiar e un mare amalgam de rase.

Ne-am plimbat putin pe strassele lor (am uitat numele), am vazut ca e pietonal cu exceptia masinilor de curatenie, a politiei si a celor de aprovizionare + un tramvai cu un singur vagon pe mijlocul ei. Oricum toata circulatia se facea pe centru, nu erau masini pe margine – fasia de ciment era cumva „marcajul” pe care il urmau mijloacele de locomotie.

Lumini multe, magazine stralucitoare, cofetarii ametitoare… Daca vrei sa ti se aplece de la atata dulce, e de ajuns sa intri discret si sa-ti iei cateva chestii micute. Foarte-foarte dulci, ca de obicei…

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Am intrat de curiozitate si de nevoie intr-un mall, am vazut cum se ajunge printr-un labirint la toaletele lor – interesant, ce sa zic – dupa care ne-am indreptat catre autocare. Am ajuns acolo relativ repejor, distanta nefiind mare, iar cat am asteptat sa plece a trecut pe straduta de „sub” parcare autobuzul celor de la Besiktas. De-aia se auzeau sirenele politiei de la trei strazi distanta – escorta chiar e necesara, ca nu stii daca nu se trezesc niste fani ai rivalelor…

Drumul catre aeroport a fost mult mai lung decat cel de venire de acolo – o inghesuiala de nedescris si un trafic bara-la-bara de cam o ora si ceva, timp in care am si dormit.

Daca la venit am facut cam o ora, la intoarcere am facut vreo ora si jumatate-doua – am reusit sa si adorm o buna bucata.

Am vazut si trecut din nou podul dintre continente pe timp de noapte, dupa care am ajuns la aeroport si ne-am pregatit de plecare. A trebuit sa asteptam vreo 3 ore, dar am avut astfel timp sa montez filmuletul despre prima destinatie, asa ca n-am pierdut chiar tot timpul.

Acum ne pregatim sa urcam in „carusel”, pentru ca la Sharjah o sa fie de alergat…

Eu zic ca putem.

 

TRANSLATION

We left Bucharest during the arrival of the Great Chinese delegation for collaboration and development. In the airport and on the streets you could see an increasing number of law enforcement . When I stepped into the airport I realized that the last time I traveled on those corridors was when I returned in the spring from Nepal… Same procedures , the same belt removal , the same check -ins, but this time I got the bonus from the airline – wrapped checked baggage. No big deal, but if you don’t wabt to end up with your backpack stained or torn it ‘s a good thing .

We arrived at the boarding gate, but there we had the first catch. The air corridors in the sky above Otopeni are limited, so the Chinese’s delegation arrival delayed our departure by an hour. Nothing serious, no hurry really, but I lost some time before the ride to Istanbul. If we’re arriving earlier than last time, we could give a round through downtown – neither I nor Alina never visited the city. She told me it was to do it once, had the tickets and everything, but she had to cancel it shortly before departure. I was interested to see it too, so I agreed to give the run in the time we had available (the Sharjah plane was set to leave at 00.30 ) .
We left the airport, we took a bus to Taksim, their market in the European part of the city, I paid about 5 euros for a ticket and on a somewhat daunting rain I said to myself „I though we’ll see the city”.
The pleasant surprise was after we crossed the bridge between continents over the Bosphorus – they were scattered clouds and the sun prevailed, although it was not very powerful.
We were pretty hungry so I made an on-the-spot picnic in the Taksim Park – where the riots started recently. It was really a shame to dismantle it – there are massive construction sites in Istanbul, on the hills , everywhere, but to destroy the last traces of vegetation in the area was pretty outrageous. I understood those who outraged .
After the short meal – I did not felt like eating much – we proceeded to the nearest street that reminded us of a bazaar. I heard many stories about the Turkish trade tradition and wanted to see how it is to be pulled by the sleeve. Not like in Nepal or India they’re not there , but if the Turks are closest to us… We can almost consider them relatives with us as the case of their „ianiceri” and their successors – it really is a great mix of races.
We walked a little on their main street ( I forgot the name ), I saw that it’s exclusively pedestrian except for the cleaning machines, the police and the supply trucks + a tram with a single car in the middle of it. Anyway the whole circulation was made in the middle and the cars were on the edge – the strip of cement somehow „marked” your means of locomotion .
There were many lights at the glamorous shops, bakeries, everything… If you want to get something sweet take a few tiny things. They are very, very sweet (as usual)…
I got curious and need to go in a mall. I saw there how to get through a maze to their toilets – interesting, what to say – and then we headed to the bus. We got there relatively quick, the distance is not great, and as I expected to leave on the street that was bellow our parking the team’s Besiktas bus passed by. So that’s why police sirens could be heard from three blocks away – the escort is required, because you don’t know if some rival fans do not wake up…
The road to the airport was much longer than that of coming from there – an unspeakable crowding in traffic for an hour or so, during which I slept .
If we came for about an hour, on the way back we did an hour and a half or two with me managing to sleep a good piece.
I saw again the bridge between the continents at night-time, and after we arrived at the airport we were pretty ready to go. We had to wait about 3 hours, but I had the time to process the movie about the first destination , so I took advantage of that whole time.
Now we are ready to get on the ” carousel ” to Sharjah…
I say we can.

see also

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIz1pJqX4ac

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