A few random thoughts on Istanbul for you.
It’s hot during the day but instantly 10 degrees cooler in the shade. You will see Turkish people cram themselves into every shady spot. I saw a family of four under the tiniest tree.
As hot as it is during the day, the nights cool off nicely. Too bad all the sites are closed.
Cats and dogs, mostly cats, are everywhere. The dogs are pretty big but usually asleep unless you’re too close. Cats won’t come near you unless you’re leaving food.
Flower crowns are trendy for the tourist crowd. Women and children, conservative or not will wear them.
Spirographs are a thing here to sell on the street. At first I thought the guy was selling the art he was making but he in fact has small sets for sale. I’m amused to see these grown men spirographing all day.
Other items often for sale on the street– water usually sold by teenagers, flower crowns, selfie sticks and umbrella hats. Selfie sticks were a surprise and you hear them say “selfie, selfie” all day at the top sites. They had buyers too. The umbrella hat I only saw near Galata Bridge solded by an older man who proudly wore the goods and there were a few takers. I saw a couple take a selfie at the bridge absolutely delighted with their purchase.
The people are friendly, sometimes too friendly. It’s all or nothing. They can be aggressively friendly as they try to get you into their restaurant or to buy something in their shop. They can also get too friendly as they ask you out for dinner or drinks. But in the case of that one waiter, he wanted to talk and didn’t take it any further. I appreicated that.
Turkish people like it sweet– ice cream and honey based desserts.
Istanbul requires good shoes. From the side walks to the roads to stairs, something is uneven, loose or falling apart.
Sidewalks are for losers. Small streets have equally small sidewalks that are too small to walk on.
This is the first time I’ve been outside NYC where jaywalking is okay. Awesome!
A street can suddenly look shady but yet still safe (or I didn’t have an issue). You’ll have an old building like this and two houses away are nice hotels like so.
Cars doing their dance. I refer to it as a dance because it seems so well coordinated. You have three cars wanting to go in different directions on a tiny one way and they will all at the same time within inches of each other start moving. One backs out, the other parks and the other makes the turn down the street.
Call to prayer is lovely to hear at the end of the day.