Tuesday, June 05, 2007

June 5 - Istanbul - Waiting For Ethem

Our Turkey time has been one of our most anticipated destinations on this trip, thanks to the last several years of building relationships with a number of Turks in Chicago who are also committed to cross-cultural dialogue and appreciation.

Waiting for Ethem at the port in Istanbul had a "Waiting For Godot" feel to it. For two hours we waited; we became friendly with the Taxi drivers, port security staffers, rogue cats feasting in the dumpster, and pigeons that looked far nobler than pigeons of the States.

Ethem was one of the Turks we knew in Chicago but whose permanent residence is Istanbul. Ours was a better outcome than those waiting for Godot. Several calls later on the security staffer's cell with Turkish translation as to our location, Ethem finally arrived. He lives on the Asian side of Istanbul; he'd been on the bridge crossing to the European side and became gridlocked by a major traffic accident. He returned to Asia to catch the ferry, leaving his car there. By the time we finally connected, his business shirt was drenched in sweat from having run from ferry dock to Princess dock.

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