Wednesday, June 13, 2007

from Cengelkoy, Turkey: looking out

The flight comes into Istanbul close to 2 a.m. The airport is not at all empty, even at this late hour. Other passangers haggle over visa lines and passport clearance, but we zip through effortlessly, visas in hand from our previous entry.

A car picks us up and quickly speeds forward. A bullet zipping through dimply lit roads. Finally, we cross one of the two bridges that link Europe with Asia.

It used to be the longest until the one in Denmark went up, our driver says. This one changes its colors with different lights. I hate this combination!

But wait, it's blue and yellow!

We are on the Asian side of the Bosphorus.

A tunnel is being built, you know. For trains, like under the English Channel.

But the Bosphorus is not like the English Channel. It is uniquely Turkish -- a corridor between two seas, with neighbors that know too much about political shake ups and earth tremmors in the region.

We pull up to our small hotel -- on old distillery turned into a restaurant with rooms. Modern rooms, sleek, gray tones, all nice, but the best, by far, is the row of windows. We fling one open and look out.

Blue and yellow. Linking continents.