Wednesday, May 09, 2007

We stand shoulder to shoulder on dark days...

I was off to Istanbul for the weekend to meet friends, family, and most importantly to support my team in their important game against Fenerbahce. Before the game we were 2 points behind Fenerbahce with 4 games remaining in the season. All the supporters were delighted to be in the championship chase after an awful season start. I boarded the plane with hope in my heart...

I arrived in Istanbul Sabiha Gökcen Airport around 2 AM. It is the second airport in Istanbul, serving mostly cheap flights. I was impressed by the speed with which all the baggage pickup processes took place. Same hold true for my way back to Berlin. This is one of the reasons why I believe in small government, when there are financial incentives -such as those of cheap carriers- everything has to proceed timely...

I started my culinary dream vacation on 3:30 AM with various Turkish delicacies prepared by my cousin (Pinar Abla cooks the best Suboreks). The breakfast at my uncle's followed by a visit to the local pickle shop where I tasted the best pickle brine were the perfect overture. I made a green plumb lunch, oh my god how refreshing they were:


We finished the day on Garaj on the Tarabya cove, where I devoured a a large turbot all by myself. When I went back home my stomach was aching with pleasure and pain...

I started Friday with another unbelievable breakfast, this time from another cousin (Thanks Damla Abla) then I meet up with Yigit, Seckin, and Ozan. I will have to admit the lunch was not all that special... We then had a a very nice Turkish kebap dinner in Hamdi overlooking the Goldern Horn. I was joined by Pinar, Burak, Erhan, Ali Ha, and Gozde. We went on to party out in 360, which is a beautiful bar on the top of an historical apartment in the Istiklal district which overlooks the whole Bosphorus. We were joined by Ceyda, Ebru and Oznur who took us to live-rock-club named Mojo on Istiklal and left early... All I have from this night is this blurry picture...


My cousin Can came from Ankara for the match on 6 AM, when were trying to watch Lolita after lots of drinks... Of course we slept before we could finish the film. When we woke up the whole Besiktas district was ready for the game. It is such a wonderful feeling of connecting with almost all of the people on the streets, chatting with people you don't know about the game or joining groups singing chants on the streets. Or seeing such banners:


which reads "There is something like happy love"...

We arrived at the Inönü Stadium around 6 PM and warmed up with chants, my favorite being this one:



Then we started the game with my favorite Besiktas chant of all "Gündogdu" -Sun has risen-, which was interrupted shortly when Fenrebahce's ball was cleared off the goal line on 50th second... It was a early sign how the game would proceed. They scored on 12th minute, and we could not shake off the disappointment and lost the game 1-0, losing almost all of our championship chances. I saw people literally breaking down on the streets because of their grief, but that is football. As we sing in "Gündogdu", we stood shoulder to shoulder when we were leaving the stadium...



We went back home, but it was obvious we needed to drink something to forget the pain. So we met up with most of the people from the day before and went to a club called Crystal. The theme of the night was football:


Sunday was more of a chill-out Sunday, where we had a nice breakfast in Ortakoy, danced some Turkish Halay in Ozan's:


and played PES6 where I was beaten twice by Seckin. I hopped on a Germanwings flight bact to Berlin on 3:30 AM and was greeted by a rainy and cold May morning. After 1 hours of sleep I went to work, but the long weekend and the sudden change in the weather had taken its toll. I've been sick since Monday.

I've created a Google Map with all the locations described in this entry.

4 comments:

zeynep said...

Halay resmi cok super

Ahmet C. Toker said...

halay resminin aciklamasi:
ben: gorevini ciddiye alan, ve gereklerini yerine getiren halay basi
sickin: rakiyi fazla kacirmis, yorgun halay mensubu
ozan: oglunu evlendiren, mutlu damat babasi
aliha: kiz tarafinin resmiyeti elinden hic birakmayan asker bir akrabasi

aepikman said...

Yau o ilk tezahüratı maçta duymuştum ne dediklerini anlamamıştım. Süpermiş bea.

ece said...

bana da bir tanecik bilet bulamadin ya, tuuuu sanaa!