dear istanbul/mistanbul







An eerie feeling swept in the last couple of days. On the weekend the sun soaked the city and it felt that the vibrant colours were seeping back up through the cracks. Then, as if to challenge my optimism, a clinging mist hugs the seaside, giving the shore an emptiness over the last two days. It’s almost as if you’ve gone all modest and now want to veil your favours. There’s no doubt you’re one capricious mistress, Istanbul — splashy bright one day hanging out your windows like a painted harlot in a loose-fitting dress, then the next, shuttered up dark and snooty and joyless as the wife of a protestant priest. Boats bob on a chill grey sea that bleeds into an equally colourless sky. The gulls overhead seem reluctant to laugh. You want to be all mysterious, all moody? Go ahead, torment me. I know your tricks.