A Terrace and a Mosque With New Friends

From Ojai, evan puts us in touch with Kelly in Istanbul. She is American, in Turkey for the last six years, which began as a period of time with her aging grandmother.

We meet her and family friend Paul at Konak Cafe in Galata, another terrace with another amazing view – this time south to the Golden Horn and west to the Asian side of Istanbul.

They eat lunch, we have a tea, the weather is great, the conversation flows effortlessly. Off we four go, taking the quick tram from Karaköy to Eminömü. We make our way into the open markets adjacent to the Spice Market, turning right towards the Rüstem Pasha Mosque. They climb the worn stone steps as I set off into the market to find some socks. I’m gone fifteen minutes, even climbing to the third floor of a tiny department store, but come back empty-footed.

It’s ok, I can enter the mosque barefooted. The mosque is known for its exquisite İznik tiles, which truly are captivating. It is time for prayer, as the night falls, and thus time for us to leave the inner mosque. We sit in the courtyard, Kelly and Ali Sun chatting, and me engaging with Paul. A young man washes his feet and face, sits on a stone and says hello in Turkish. He implores us to visit the Eyüp Sultan Mosque during our stay.

We take a taxi to Istaklal, exiting near the Pera Museum, dining at a lokanta, where you can see the food, meet the chef and point at your dinner. The men’s room courteously offers a choice of Turkish and Western toilets. We conclude our dinner with desserts, and Turkish çay, of course.

It’s late, we have enjoyed the company of Kelly and Paul for nine hours. We make tentative plans to meet again, hug goodbye and walk the short distance south towards our studio, tucked away not far from the Galata Tower.

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