Your letter was wonderful. I was "transported" to Illinois and the condo,
and got a nice glimpse of your life there. Thanks.
I hope you get a chance (or got a chance) to read Tom's and my
correspondence. I mentioned more than once how fun it was that Tom seemed
as excited as I was. What a rare and special happening it all was,
especially for me in that Tom was so involved. And what a great thing this
e-mail gadget is, and that we were ALL able to experience it more or less
I don't know if you kept a copy of the Perspective section, but your can see
(generally) the area where I live in the picture of Sancta Sophia on the
first page. If you look in the upper left-hand corner you'll see a finger
of water. That's the Golden Horn. (To its left, starting roughly directly
above the Sancta Sophia is the Bosphorus.) The bridge that you see crossing
the Golden Horn (we're still in the upper left hand corner) is the Galata
Bridge. Just above the bridge, approximately half an inch on the page is
the blur of buildings where the Galata Tower and my place are. I live in a
neighborhood called Galata (though the sub-neighborhood is called Kuledibi).
I'll be bringing more clear pictures, but that's a start.
It IS amazing to think you all moved to condo nearly 22 years ago. Its also
amazing to think we all moved to Illinois only some 12 years before that.
It seems like those 12 years were a lot longer than the 22 since. Time is
cruel, I think. Your initial experience of cold, discomfort, rang a bell
for me too. When I moved in here it was also middle of winter (although
Istanbul winters not quite as bad as Illinois winters; more like New York I
think). Had very little furniture (i.e. nothing really). Ismail and I did
bag a bed and, as I half-mentioned in the article, he and his wife lent an
excellent comforter and another blanket to me. I rely on heaters here, as
no centralized heating. At that time, along with the bed, I had bought a
gas heater, which you're not supposed to use at night (in case there's a
leak). So the first few nights I buried my head under the blankets against
the freezing temperatures. Since then, have fully equipped the place (e.g.
alos now have an electric heater, which you can use at night) and am ready
(clothes and everything) for next winter. (Also will pick up a few more
things while I'm in SF.) All this said, wouldn't have done it any other
way. Feel I paid a few dues and am better acclimated for the experience.
Life is considerably harder here than in America, but the good life not
inaccessible. There is everything from Marks & Spencer to McDonalds. I,
despite living on about $600 to 700 a month, live well and better than most.
I calculate that, provided you don't go too far up the scale, most things
are a half to a third what they cost in SF. (Toothpaste, by the way -- even
Crest -- is here in spades.)
Have you gotten a chance to talk to Jeff about his visit?
More later, and a lot of that in person. Thanks again for the note and
sending along the article.
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