Saturday, August 18, 2012

The tussles of traveling

I'm 49, so I've had my share of relationships. And what I've found is that airport time and jet lag can be challenging for any couple. I have gotten in some of the worst relationship fights of my life when jet lagged. You show up at a hotel and you're disappointed or you're kind of fuming at each other even before you get to the airport, when "discussing" the ideal time to show up for a flight. My husband is a "board-at-the-last-second kind of guy. Being the neurotic-minded person that I am, I'm a safely ensconced at the gate an hour and a 1/2 before the flight person. I'd rather cool my heels in an airport with my Kindle than worry about not making it. Other than that little difference, one way I knew that Randy was the right person for me was that we do pretty well in airports together--even when there are a few bumps, as there were today. First of all, we had to wait on the 4 person deep passport line when we got to Istanbul, along with a panoply of people in chadors, head scarfs and running shoes, babies, beautiful doe eyed girls and travelers and tourists of every type. Eyeballing everyone kept us occupied for a while, but when we got to the passport window a half hour or so later, we were told we had to go back and get a visa. Then stand in line again. My husband didn't like that very much and he began arguing with the security guard until I mentioned Turkish prisons. He didn't love that either.

But things picked up once we exited the airport. Our hotel was in a slightly off the beaten path neighborhood (you could even say unpromising): surrounded by partly demolished buildings on either side. But Trip Advisor came through once again: A wooden mansion with a sweeping view of the Bosphorous, a tiny-but-chic swimming pool and a bi-level roof deck (for 120E), we were greeted in the Turkish way with tea and muddy, strong coffee, and spent a half hour lounging in the sun, recovering from our 9 hour very economy class flight. The suite was lovely: more views, gilt chandelier, 2 rooms, an entire room for the shower with marble fixings and of course thick white turkish towels. There is nothing that feels quite as good as stretching out for the first time after an international flight, especially with my honey. After our rest, time for some wandering, through the narrow, hilly streets where the locals were beginning to shop for the weekend at the crowded stalls, which offered everything from spices to wooden implements to hunting rifles. My s.o. loves a good wander through an unfamiliar neighborhood, and so do I, and after some flatbread pizza and some dried dates and apricots, we were finally ready to do a bit of serious touristing. But I will save that for the next blog--it's challenging to keep up with all these time changes and flights.
below, the view from the HHKs roof deck.

1 comment: