Finally, it’s time to get off and navigate the narrow streets to get to the fashion company for my one-to-one English lesson with the CEO.
Two hours of friendly but stilted conversation go by and after several refills of Turkish tea, the journey home begins. Unfortunately, the half-hour gap between ferries makes it the slowest way to get there. So, instead I walk to the nearby bus station of Mecidiyekoy. This trip isn’t as picturesque as the ferry ride but it never fails to intrigue or amuse.
This bustling area is a transportation hub with thousands of buses, cars and pedestrians trying to pass through. But that doesn’t stop this old fruit seller from riding his horse-and-cart through the frenetic streets. The cars grudgingly slow down because of his slow-moving horse, but everybody lets him by as if nothing has changed in this city in the last hundred years. Some cars do try to bypass the slowdown, usually by driving on the sidewalks, blissfully unaware of the pedestrians who are sharing the same narrow space.
The bus to Kadıköy crosses the Bosporus Bridge so I am treated to an aerial view of the busy straits and a wonderful panorama of new skyscrapers, modern bridges, Ottoman building and old mosques. This is the essence of Istanbul – old and new, East meeting West.
The bus ends its route at the Kadıköy quay, where my lengthy journey began five hours earlier. Walking home, one of my favorite landmarks comes into view, a statue of a large bronze goose. It seemed like a strange subject until I saw the actual real-life goose that wandered around this area, the apparent inspiration for this sculpture. The goose was taken care of by locals and could often be seen peering through the window of a Turkish pizza restaurant, staring expectantly at its patrons. Where did this goose come from? I used to imagine that, somehow, the statue had magically come to life. It felt like this would not be at all impossible in the eternally enchanting city of Istanbul.