I think it’s my fault really. Yesterday, I made the fatal mistake of thinking the thought, that “really, this trip had gone quite well.”
You guessed it, we were doomed.
Ok, maybe not doomed, really it’s just been a day of irritating minor problems.
We traveled from Izmir, Turkey to Istanbul, Turkey today. This morning I was not feeling well, but nothing overpowering, just some minor stomach upset. We packed, said goodbye to our fantastic host, and got to the airport just fine.
Our flight was slightly delayed, but almost all of our flights, and the ferry we took for that matter, were slightly delayed this trip, so no big deal. D slept the whole flight and it went by quickly.
Then starts the trouble. Our AirBnB host for Istanbul set up a car and driver to pick us up. Living the life of luxury right? Normally we take public transport or a taxi. Well, we exited baggage claim, and no driver. We debated if “Amanda” (my name) was the sign labeled “Almoni,” but decided that no, it was too different. Fortunately, Skype is amazing and I highly recommend using it when you travel, because when you need to make a phone call, you can. It also helps that I’m overpaying for a crappy international plan for my cell phone, but I do have a little bit of data to use when I need to. Such as this situation. After a few minutes I finally connected with our host, and he said he would call the driver. After 15 more minutes, I called him again and said we would like to take a taxi, could we get the exact address (he had only sent me a street name). He spoke to the driver on my phone and we were off!
Then, we were not so off. For more than an hour. Rush hour traffic is amazing no matter where you are in the world. It was a blast keeping a toddler sane in the back seat of a hot car for more than an hour. But, we made it to our destination, then connected with our host.
We were shown the apartment and eventually headed out with our host to get tea at a cafe right down the street. D enjoyed running around the beautiful local park with other kids and especially loved stealing their soccer balls. Good things!
Our host wanted to walk us around the neighborhood a bit, which sounds so lovely right? It was! Well, the offer was anyway. By this point it’s now 7:30pm, we have not eaten, and I’m not feeling so well again. We stopped at several places to say hello to friends of our host and he pointed out some helpful streets. He also showed us a building we could climb to see an amazing view of the city. Let me tell you that climbing six floors while feeling ill is a great time, and brought back memories of being sick at Machu Picchu, climbing endless stairs.
Our host wanted to continue to show us around, but I said we needed to go back. Z and D still needed dinner, and we needed to go to a supermarket to get milk for D to drink before bed. We did those errands, but tried several stores searching for fresh milk, and gave up and bought irradiated milk instead. We got food, and finally headed back the apartment at 8:45pm.
The final blow (pun intended!) was the air conditioning, or lack thereof. There is an air conditioning unit in the bedroom but it only blows a pathetic fan or really strong hot air. I’m not going to lie- I had been fantasizing about this air conditioning for days, since we did not have any air in our last place and it was pretty hot. Z was also pretty frustrated, and the air conditioning still refuses to work, even after verbal and physical abuse. It’s at least cooler than Izmir, and I am finally laying in bed so I can hopefully relax.
So there is my long sob (but really still not that bad (and I know! Shh! I shouldn’t say things like that!) story for our day. The biggest worry is I want to be on the go tomorrow to start seeing things in Istanbul. Fingers crossed our good fortune and sunshine and rainbows will return soon.