Istanbul Day 5 Part 2

Continued from Istanbul Day 5 Part 1.

We got back to our hotel, and rested for a bit. I uploaded some photos and did some blogging. Then we started getting ready to go out. We are going to meet a few of my friend RF’s Turkish friends tonight in the New District part of town. I am not sure what the Turks have in mind, but SO and I are definitely going to be out partying tonight in Istanbul.

It’s 6 and we walked out towards the tram station. The cart with the tea pot is the same type of cart that we saw scurrying away from the police last night.

We sat at the small middle area where the two tram cars are connected. Interesting that there are seats in this part of the tram.

The Taksim Burger King, where we are supposed to meet the Turks. We arrived about 30 minutes early.

Istiklal is even more busy tonight than last time we were here. It’s Saturday night and everyone is out and about.

Found a cafe a few doors down from the Burger King for a beer to wait for our meeting time.

Like the Turks said, Burger King is THE meeting spot in this area. They mentioned that I’ll see a lot of people standing outside waiting for others, and here they are. Apparently this Burger King is well known because it’s at the end of the street so at the end of the night, many people come here to use their restroom before they find their transportation back home.

Anyhow, we showed up at the Burger King and found the Turks. BNO, YY, and BNO’s friend, whose name I can not remember, met up with us. Cool. I have actually met BNO and YY before back in Austin, but none of us remember meeting each other. BNO and YY were in Austin and in the US for some sort of US State Department sponsored program where they took classes and were shown around the country on the US government’s dime. I think it was propaganda by the US government to try to get the future leaders of Turkey to have a good impression of America. My friend RF was their guide, and I had met the Turks one night at Little Woodrows downtown in Austin. The program works, because BNO and YY have a great impression of America!

Dinner spot.

YY mentioned that all the decoration inside here is to mimic traditional Turkish houses.

Pancakes with potatoes stuffed inside. Very similar to a breakfast item in India.

For me, mixed grill, of course.

Yum! I love Turkish food.

When we came out of the restaurant, the Turks asked if we wanted some ice cream. Sure. The ice cream shop is right outside of the restaurant and the ice guy was drumming all sorts of beats with his long ice cream scoop. This is not an ordinary ice cream stand. It’s one of those where the guy plays little tricks and jokes with you before finally giving you the ice cream.

Innocent enough.


The guy would put the ice cream in your cone, then somehow he would take the ice cream away. Or he would pop the cone out of your hand and make you work to hold onto the ice cream. Of course, you always failed and could never grab the ice cream.

SO celebrating finally getting her ice cream.

My turn.

YY’s turn.

BNO and her massive scoop of ice cream.

The show finally ends and BNO gets her ice cream. That was a lot of fun! I’ve seen these kind of ice cream vendors before, but I can’t remember what city or what country I’ve seen this in.

After dinner BNO’s friend had to take off(This is why I don’t remember her name because she left early), and I thought that we should all get a photo together first. The Turks asked one of the touts on the street to take a photo for us.

The tout on the street. We handed him the camera and he turned the camera around and took a photo of himself first. We all laughed.

From left, BNO, SO, yours truly, YY, and BNO’s friend whose name I do not recall. Sorry!

After BNO’s friend left, BNO and YY asked what we would like to do. Drinking, of course. We were still on Istiklal street, and BNO and YY led us into one of the side streets and we started walking. Away from the main strip, the streets are more narrow, and then we started hearing music, and stopping seeing all the chain retail stores.

In no time, we are in the entertainment area of Istanbul!!! Awesome. Even though this area is not far from Istiklal, a casual tourist would have some trouble finding it unless they knew where they were heading. It’s still pretty early right now at 8:00. The Turks said that the bars in Istanbul do not ever close. They go for 24 hours, so the nightlife doesn’t get started until around midnight and go well into the night until the sun comes up. Nice!

We found a bar, it was multilevels. We went up several floors before we found an open table.

Ahhhh, I love it. The music that they play was almost the same as the music that they play in the bars in the US. They played many bands from America. They played Foo Fighters, Nirvana, and even Stevie Ray Vaughan. Then they also played Turkish rock bands, and some of the songs everyone knew and half of the bar broke into song. This rarely happens in the US. Maybe when we are all really drunk and some old school song comes on in the bar. People don’t sing along in the US when relatively sober.

This was really good. Finally an Efes that isn’t just the regular pilsner. This one is a dark beer with coffee.

SO asked for a ashtray for her cigarette. Our server told the Turks in Turkish that it was not possible, and came back with a Beck’s paper cup instead. The Turks explained that it’s illegal to smoke inside, but no one gives a fuck, so everyone smokes anyway. But, apparently the line gets drawn at giving out ashtrays, so the Beck’s paper cup will do.

Count up the number of Beck’s cups here. Yeah, everyone’s smoking in this bar.

We had several beers here and great conversations. I remembered all of the conversations earlier in the night, and by the end of the night, I could only remember bits and pieces due to high levels of inebriation. I do remember one important thing that the Turks told me. I remember because I wrote it down.

Turkish women love British accents, Italian men, and Turkish men love Russian girls. There, now I know everything there is know about Turks.

We stayed at the first bar for about an hour, then we were on the move again. The Turks had engagements in the morning, so they couldn’t stay out with us all night, but before we said our goodbye, they wanted to take us to a happening club. I am so excited to be drinking and partying out here in Istanbul!

I love this photo. I am guessing that this is a club of some sort. Whatever it is, fucking awesome idea and execution.

I love this area. Reminds me of the nightlife in Austin. Sigh.

I had noticed that almost all the bars had their signs in blue and red neon letters. The Turks didn’t know if there was a particular reason for this or not.

Reached the club. This is going to be awesome!

We walked into the door(no cover) and started walking up the stairs. This is what the interior looks like….Hmmm….They look to be a bunch of cheap run down offices. Where are we going? We walked up several floors where it just looks boring and run down like this. We hear music, but things look terrible on these floors.

Finally, we reached the top floor, and it’s a totally different world up here. This is The place to be! It was packed, Turkish rock/pop music was pumping through the speakers. Awesome. We said goodbye to the Turks. It was great meeting them again and having them show us around Istanbul. Great conversations and I learned a lot about the Turkish culture in general. Well, the bits and pieces of it that I still remember anyway…

First on the list of things to drink, Jager bombs. Even though SO lives in Germany, where Jagermeister originates from, she’s never heard of a Jager bomb before.

We were on the top floor, and the place had windows all around. Awesome to dance with the night view of Istanbul all around you.

Yeah, this place was happening. Other than the different music, this could be any other popular club in the US. I felt very much at home over here. We stayed here for about an hour, and wanted to go check out some other places.

KB, if you are reading this, Turks are apparently a fan of you.

Bars bars bars, all with their blue and red signs.

Street after street of bars. I love it here.

We walked around and then we heard music coming from this place. Electronica club music, the German culture in SO was calling for her.

Another happening place.

Double shot Raki. The Turks told us that Raki was supposed to be sipped slowly for hours, and not taken as shots. Well, I am a dumb American so I’ll continue to drink these like shots!

This place also had a roof top, but they were playing a different kind of music. SO wanted the electronica because it made her feel like she was back in Germany.

Efes, but look, in a different bottle.

I time traveled and we spent the rest of the night here until it was time to head back. Great fun night, but I am positive that It’s going to be a rough day tomorrow…Whatever, I went out and had a great time drinking in Istanbul!

Drunk, but still managed to take a photo of our taxi that had zip ties holding the hub cap on the wheel.

Got dropped off at around the Blue Mosque. It was all lit up at night and there were these large birds(seagulls?) flying around the mosque also lit up by the lights. It looked so out of this world as I stumbled onwards towards home.

To be continued at Istanbul Day 6.

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