The infrequent blogger

When it rains, it pours. That’s sort of my approach to keeping a blog – two months nothing, then two entries back to back. But then, my approach to media – as a guy working in that field – is to only say something if you have something to say.

What did I want to say? Ah yes, about that blog-writing. I never kept a diary, not even as a child. Mainly because I didn’t find much worthy to preserve for future readers, but also because I was just doing too much to write it all down. Or perhaps I was just plain lazy. Yes, that’s what it was.

So if you, dear reader, are now finding these notes, keep in mind that they were scribbled down on a minute keyboard by someone who had only ever had the habit of writing down his thoughts in an illegible handwriting on the flimsy paper napkins that came with his beer. And to then throw them away.

Since I have found out that I will spend some time in Istanbul courtesy Turkish Airlines (I remember having had that pleasure not so long ago already; what IS it with their timekeeping?), I thought I might write something about Turkey. Right after Tajikistan, world-wise that I am.

Now, I have never seen anything else of Turkey than Istanbul and, a long time ago, some stretch of beach down at Antalya. Which I regret, very much. Not the beach, but not to have seen more. In any case, Istanbul is a wonderful city. I hardly ever go there anymore out of my own free will, because I don’t have to. For some odd reason I regularly end up there for business. Generally, I am passing through, and I don’t always leave the terminal, but when I do, I enjoy it. Sadly, it always seems to be in winter or early spring.

I remember several visits where I would stare into the waters of the Bosporus or across it, admiring the Eastern shore, when I had to pull up my socks and my jumper against the icy winds coming down from the Marmara. I am convinced that the Blue Mosque was built out of that specific marble to reflect the bluish quality of the Istanbul air in winter. They have a word in French for it: it’s bluâtre – blue like the early morning, like a winter dawn in the European North, like the veins of mould in young blue cheese. A blue transparency rather than a prime colour.

Writing this from the plane two hours before touch down, I have no chance yet to take a picture, but I will endeavour to capture this capital-lettered Blue. No doubt will I fail, but I will try.

What else did I want to say about Istanbul (for I cannot be so daring as to give an opinion on an entire country as large as this one)?

Well, it is a multitude. Like any metropolis, I’d say. It is hip for its bars and cafés and students, it is traditional for its architecture and its glorious past (which now, however, appears strangely vacuous, like a shell without its crab), and it is fresh and slightly dirty and gritty, like any decent harbour city. I really like it.

When I come home, I shall have to dig up my photographic memories of the city, and perhaps I shall find something Blue as well…

Post Scriptum
Arrival in the dark, leaving in the dark, decent photography impossible. Hence the only picture showing any measure of Blue had to be taken at the airport, which it was. Back home to Vienna, to a few more months of blogging silence. Or maybe not!

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