Fog, traffic, tango – part 3

I’m in Turkey for the Istanbul tango ritual, staying with a tanguera friend I met in Buenos Aires. This is the story of the third day of my visit.


Today I wake at least an hour later than on Saturday. Again no classes or seminars for us. The fog is really only mist today and there is no need for multiple bridge crossings so the sightseeing should be better. But after a long leisurely breakfast and faffing about we don’t actually set off for the European side of the city until about 3:30pm. Given it’ll be dark in about 2 hours that doesn’t leave a lot of daylight for sightseeing. Oh well, I’ll have to come back another time.

The traffic is the lightest I’ve seen it and we park up in the Fatih district close to the Spice Bazaar and the Yeni Mosque. We wander fairly purposefully around the outside of the mosque and through the bazaar. Cigdem buys more green tea since I’ve drunk most of what she had left when I arrived. We stop at a bakery and I sample (pistachio) baklava for the first time. It’s delicious and I learn that the Turks, like the porteños, all have a sweet tooth. We move the car closer to the evening milonga venue – the Armada Hotel – and resume the sightseeing just as dusk settles over the city. We walk past the Sultan Ahmet (Blue) Mosque and then around Hagia Sophia in the dark before stopping to eat in a renowned traditional Turkish restaurant. The walls are decorated with letters of thanks and commendations from the rich and famous of the last 90 years. I play safe and stick to Turkish meatballs which for some reason aren’t round but rectangular. Apparently there are all sorts of conditions that will be imposed on Turkish restaurants  by the Brussels bureaucrats if they join the European Union. Whether their meatballs will have to become round I don’t know.

Over dinner we both decide that actually we’re pretty tired and don’t need to dance tonight. The milonga won’t start for another hour anyway. So no tango for me today making for a pretty lightweight festival performance.  We head home past the Armada Hotel and across the Bosphorus for my last time. It’s still misty, and the traffic is pretty minimal. Tomorrow I’ll be flying back to Blighty.

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