A smile to remember

by Arish Naseem (Pakistan)

A leap into the unknown Turkey


There comes a time in everyone’s life when we feel the need to take a pause, go back and explore ourselves. Same happened to me due to my tedious work routine and I decided to travel with out any plan, throw myself into completely naïve environment and explore what I can do there. In early 2020, I visited Istanbul. My first tram stop was just over Bosphorus, giving me an immense feeling that this is what I want right now, fresh air, aesthetically pleasing sight in an unknown place to me. I decided to explore the modern Istanbul on one day and visited Galata Tower, Taksim Square, Istiklal Street and Karaköy. Other day I wandered in the old city, museum, grand bazar, and also the mosques. Dancing ice cream was worth watching. Since I was staying in Karaköy and one fine morning I was just roaming about in street, I passed by a café where an old lady was sitting and smiling at me. I crossed the café, but her smile stopped my feet, I turned back and unconsciously entered the cafe. It was a small but modern café, but most interesting part was that lady with big steel pan and making bread over it. I relaxed for a while, in the meantime an old man came up to me and offered a cup of Turkish tea, which I had. I inquired what that lady was making as I was impressed by her smiling face and determination towards her work, as it is not usual sight for me. I got to know that was Turkish Pizza so I ordered and keenly observed her making that bread with potato fillings. My cup was not finished yet that the person replaced my cup of tea which I refused to take but he insisted that it is on the hotel. I was again impressed by the hostility of Turkish people, they smile, hug and accept people with open arms. Well, by that time my pizza arrived, amazingly decorated, economical and mouthwatering. It was genuinely delicious, a taste that I can never forget. On my way out I thanked both over which they said that they had been operating this café for a while now and their children help them over the weekend. My week in Istanbul was full of adventure, I took the wrong ferry and accidently travelled to Asian Side, Kadikoy, explored the city after even midnight, travelled on Dinner cruise, lost in the city two more time, visited each place in Istanbul, met amazing people and had kind of food which will stay with me forever. The visit gave me full experience of happiness and exciting adventure that motivates me to travel to new place each time and take a leap into unknown.