Your trip in one sentence Subtle. You don't realise how much you love it until you have to leave.
Why did you travel there ? My group's final year thesis was chosen for a conference, so we got to hang in Turkey to present it, and skipped most of the conference to explore Istanbul.
How did you get there ? By flight, and a torturous-near-death 8 hour layover in Doha.
Where did you sleep ? Taksim Lounge.
What was the biggest cultural shock ? The aggressive Turkish hospitality
What was your most interesting encounter ? Meeting a solo traveller when we offered him an extra chair at our table over lunch. He joined us for that day's exploration.
Tell us a story that happened to you there On our last night, we were at our favorite dinner place, and the head chef came to sit with us. He had a cup of Raki, and nearly got me some votka because I mentioned that I liked it.
He told us to call him Baba (Turkish for father), and called us his daughters. He played music for us on his traditional turkish guitar, and sang a song for us as well.
In his limited english, he went on to share that good men like him last time no longer exist today, he said his son was a good man, and when we asked if his son was single, he laughed his jolly rumbling laugh and said he was married with two kids. But then Baba offered up his nephew, who unfortunately was also working that night, and asked if I wanted him. Absolutely horrified but still couldn’t stop laughing, I nearly shouted No, and told him to find his own woman he loved. Before we left, Baba bid us good fortune and also told us that he will pray to his god that we will each find a good husband to marry.
What did you do at night ? Braved the mad crowded Istiklal Caddasi for some diabetic inducing turkish desserts.
What were your cultural activities ? Everything in Istanbul is cultural. We did do the touristy stuff at Hagia Sofia, the Blue Mosque, the underground cisterns, Topkapi Palace, the spice bazaar and took a Bosphorus cruise.
Which song illustrates best your trip ? Something in the Water - Brooke Fraser
Your favourite local word ? Siktir Git
Your favourite local food ? Kebabssssss
Your favourite place ? The hostel's common kitchen where I met some of the most amazing travelers on the go.
Will you go again ? Definitely. I need to bring my future husband back to meet Baba.
Take your Hejbook Join the mile-high club on your way there Learn the coolest word of the local language Eat the local speciality Become smarter in a local museum Find the fleamarket and buy someting exotic Befriend and give your business card to the local mob boss Wander in the city at night Get lost at least one time Engage a (drinking for instance) contest with a local Sleep with a local Pretend to be local and have someone believe it Go to the zoo and hug a bear Share all your crazy stories with the world on hejorama.com
The chronicles gather all of the experiences and stories of travel that the Hejies wish to share about their destination. A chronicle is composed of photographs, videos, interviews, places, and questionnaires. All of these mediums are used to record an experience of a travel as well as possible, to share this and to possibly inspire you.