A Not So Turkish Life

Dear woman on the bus…

The downside to being a stay at home Mum with no structure to her week is, I realised today, that if staying home’s how you feel, stay home you can. But often, like today, staying home is not really the best option and even if no good ever comes from egg on toast, getting out and brushing off the crumbs always brings good things.

..thank you.


Thursday started badly and by the time M and I left for a sisters’ baby shower, all I wanted to do was stay home, however once I’d trekked across to the Asian side with the decorations, it made no sense not to stay for a while. I’m glad I did, it’s always lovely to catch up with this group of friends yet it seemed that the vibe that started the day was destined to shape it and the journey home tonight, an almost 3 hour trip, was awful for M and left me drained and not wanting to make it again, even though I know we will and tomorrow is another day.

Crossing continents

Istanbul’s split into two continents – the Asian side and the European side. Asia is known for being green, more relaxed and the European side for business, city-life and its history. It sounds exotic – two continents, one city – but in reality, both sides are mostly intertwined. The city still retains the original connection links with the ferries, like those we used today, but the metro bus, and minibus and normal bus options make the journeys more accessible still. To reach the shower today, we had to travel first by minibus, then by ferry and then a minibus/bus again. Before M, I loved journeys like this; its how I’ve always explored this city and many other around the world too, and I still love riding the bus and taking the ferry but it’s not so much fun when its a necessity to getting anywhere and a little one doesn’t want to play along. Yes, it’s the green thing, yes it’s the sunnah way, but somedays, like today, when the extra travel time of public transport can add 5 hours onto our day, somedays I really, really wish for a car.

There’s a big difference in the feeling of living in a place as an expat,  to living there as a Mum. Since M’s been born, Istanbul feels less of an exotic city with a vibe I love to feel, and more like somewhere I need to grab hold of. It’s M’s hometown – he needs to explore it, to learn its ins and out and ways, in the same that I learnt the hidden secrets of my Welsh hillsides and valleys. Right now, returning to the same places over and again is stimulation enough, there are aways new sights, sounds and smells to enchant him, but soon he’ll want to go new places – I’ll want to go new places! And public transport with a baby kind of sucks.

Baby rides a bus

Actually, public transport doesn’t suck when your day is unplanned. We jump between buses and trams frequently in our weekly life and its mostly uneventful – if M seems tired, hungry or just plain grumpy, we stop for coffee and recharge before continuing on, but when you have plans and an engagement to make, a car would just make life a million times better. We go back to the UK next week, and as always we’ll rent a car, and I know that this feeling of being stuck, or limited without a car here is going to feel overwhelming for a while after the freedom of driving around at will. As Turkey’s autumn’s coming steadily, the nights are closing in and the weather’s turning grey, mustering up the enthusiasm to bundle both baby and I up to navigate the city like this isn’t going to be successful everyday. We’re still going to travel and we’re still going to explore, but home time is going to be busy so that on days when the windows frost up, we don’t feel confined. The spare room has been turned into a craft room for me…I’m learning to knit, any tips?…and little dude’s going to discover many of the joys of a Montessori approach. Light boxes and water dyes, fabric and buttons and autumn dried leaves – we’re going to explore the world outside, by bringing it in. We’re going to fill our days with structure at home and when going out sounds kinda tough, we’ll recall encounters like this and remind ourselves that even on the worst weather transport day there’s a silver lining to the cloud and it’s always worth going out.


This entry was published on 10/15/2011 at 20:23. It’s filed under Baby 'n' Me, Externalise and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Dear woman on the bus…

  1. Pingback: The beauty in not having a car « A Not So Turkish Life

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