Let me rave about Istanbul's public transport. After years of suffering SF's MUNI— buses that never ran on time, broke down, often crashed and yes, even caught on fire, I was thrilled by the cleanliness and efficiency of Istanbul's buses. I didn't see any gum, half-eaten chicken in a tub under a seat, grafitti or discarded sodas. People were courteous with each other and obeyed the No Cell-phone sign. I also didn't have to wait long before a bus or a dolmüş came along that was going my way. Speaking of dolmüş, I learned today that you can pick one up from anywhere on the side of the road and my, how people are friendly! I got a little confused as to where my stop was, so I asked the driver (in broken Turkish) if the building I was pointing to was where I needed to get off. Realising I was a foreigner, the driver and about three other passengers kindly explained through hand gestures and smiles that my stop was two stops away. They all alerted me when we got there and wished me "iyi günler," a "good day." I am in love. Good, easy and inexpensive transportation is necessary to being able to get around a massive city like Istanbul. In the next few days I'll try out the Metro.
I had just gotten off the bus on the way back and decided I needed to sit on a bench and draw this, the beginning of a town called Sarıyer. The Black Sea is right around the corner from Sarıyer, which has a rather large iskele, or port. From there you can catch all sorts of ferryboats, which I can't wait to do.