Nice to see you again Istanbul
Nice to see you again Istanbul… “I can’t tell you how long my stay in this restaurant lasted. And it is useless to tell you “how I ate” and it is not even what I feel I want to express to you after this experience. But I want to tell you that, leaving the restaurant, as I walked towards the nearby Blue Mosque more than sated, I felt regenerated, more than satisfied by what must have been just one of my lunches in Istanbul, I felt something different inside me that I do not exaggerate to even define it as happiness. “
With these sentences ended a post of mine last April, in which I told you about one of the most incredible dinners of my life (and believe me, I have quite “challenging” evaluation standards) in a restaurant in the city. I told you about the strange mood of those minutes while I was returning home. I remember, in my head, the fluctuations of a mix of emotions, some not very beautiful deriving from some personal problems I was experiencing, others positive and supported by the spring warmth in the evening on the Bosphorus. I remember how much the Turkish welcome and liveliness in those days of April were comfortable and useful traveling companions for me.
Well in the last few days I happened to pass through Istanbul again, returning from some work tours in Turkey. And seeing her again was beautiful and different at the same time. Nice because this incredible city like few metropolises in the world (only New York and Shanghai come to mind) has a liveliness that never gives you the feeling of “already seen”. When you go back, you actually feel like you are there for the first time.
And it was different because, differently from the other time, my own approach to Istanbul was more serene, relaxed, in fact I would say really amused. The thoughts of the other time have gone away, canceled by the comforting certainties of this present of mine that I love, that I adore. To put it in photographic terms, it is as if my new stay in Istanbul has been photographed in a new light, brighter and full of panache.
A new light in Istanbul
You know it wasn’t easy for me to wait for this new light; I guess it’s not for anyone. But I must say that this time my patience and perseverance have been compensated for the difficult months I have lived so far.
The worst is over and I tend to be of few words with the past. I don’t care much about reworking it or getting it out. By nature I always tend to look to the future. And from this window on the Bosphorus, from which I am now writing to you, what is my future like? At the moment it has beautiful colors, beautiful sensations, as beautiful are the smells and tastes of these days in Istanbul. And this time, between past and future, I choose to direct the virtual lens of my soul to the present alone. Without looking too far ahead of my steps.
Hic et Nunc
“Hic et Nunc”, here and now, the Latins used to say. Here, in addition to “I travel therefore I am”, for a while I want to live these three Latin words as a mantra that gives time to my days, to my projects; a mantra that I hope will also help me, when necessary, to give due weight to the sorrows and failures that will inevitably come later because, you know, they are part of life as part of the package.
But, “hic et nunc” I decide to enjoy Istanbul and its embrace as a loving friend. Dynamic and busy, but always happy to see me again.
Look at me Istanbul, I’m smiling again.