today something about approaching city from above and how city takes you within. there were twenty people on flight ljubljana-istanbul. three couples, me and turkish men, all of them truck drivers. they drive from turkey to italy and fly back home or the opposite. the loudest of them sit behind my seat, of course. 'gel gel abi' (come here, abi, abi is a word they use to address each other) mixes with voice of a stewardess 's čim vam lahko postrežem' ('how can i help you'). we fly at night but they don't stop talking. i recognize few words, the rest is still a melody. i cannot fall asleep therefore i look through the window. i don't want to sound kitchy, but i swear, that's how it was. there was full moon shining on dense cloud carpet below us. after two hours, burek and yoghurt adria offers us, wide-spread orange light illuminates clouds from below. once we start landing undefined light turns into millions of single lights, orange and white, flashing, moving on twisted highways, sliding on bosphorus, welcoming on windows, floating on skyscrapers and disappearing on the borders far away.
'tadaam' we touch the ground and turn into one of them. havataš (transfer company) driver comes up with an idea that night buses are five liras more expensive and than the others that start driving at 7am (it's 4am). well, my dear havataš, i would pay three months ago, but i'm not here for the first time, i pay normal price and take süt sahlep (white pudding like sweet drink with cinnamon and whole nuts) on taksim instead. good morning!

danes nekaj o tem, kako se je mestu približevati skozi oblake in kako mesto leze vate. na letu iz ljubljane nas je bilo dvajset. trije pari, mojamalenkost in sami turki, vozniki tovornjakov, ki vozijo na relaciji turčija-italija in letijo nazaj. najbolj glasni so seveda sedeli za mojim sedežem. 'gel gel abi' ('pridi sem, abi', z abi se med sabo vsi nagovarjajo) se meša s stevardesinim glasom 's čim vam lahko postrežem'. letimo ponoči, ampak oni ne nehajo in ne nehajo debatirati. par besed ujamem, ostalo je še vedno melodija. ker ne morem zaspati, gledam skozi okno in nočem, da se sliši kičasto, ampak tako je bilo, zunaj sije polna luna in osvetluje gosto pokrajino oblakov pod nami. čez dve uri, bureku in jogurtu, ki nam ga v stilu postreže adria, čez te oblake začne od spodaj prosevati oranžna svetloba, ki se, ko se začnemo spuščati, definira v neskončno luči, oranžnih, belih, utripajočih, premikajočih se na pentljastih avtocestah, drsečih čez bospor, domačih na milijonih stanovanjskih blokov in hiš, lebdečih na nebotičnikih in izginjajočih na robu mesta.tadaam' se dotaknemo tal in postanemo ena izmed njih. voznik havataša (transferja do mesta) si nato gladko izmisli, da ima nočni avtobus višjo tarifo in da cenejši pelje šele ob sedmih zjutraj, ampak veš kaj, ne pelješ me prvič, tri mesece nazaj bi plačala, danes pa odštejem običajnih deset lir in si s preostankom na začetku istiklala kupim süt sahlep, gosti beli kakav s cimetom in lešniki za dobro jutro. dobro jutro!



 another journey is over. we went to the beginning of mesopotamia region or better said to the beginning of the world! cultures are like thousands of years before still confronting each other here, places we visited are less and less turkish and more and more kurdish. we flew all across turkey to southeastern part of it. we couldn't stop wondering about so many things - landscape changing so fast from green fields to deserts, incredible hospitality (thank you heja, ata, ali, bilal, cesur, abbas, emin, and everyone else we met on our way), oldest cities merged with the surroundings, about food and pistachio desserts and especially about the fact how calmly people live despite the sound of military planes crossing diyarbakır and despite the fact that terrible war is starting just behind the border.

še eno potovanje je za mano. na začetek mezopotamije oz. na začetek sveta, kjer se kulture tako kot že tisoče let še vedno prepletajo, kraji, katere smo obiskali so vedno manj turški in vedno bolj kurdski. preleteli smo namreč turčijo do jugovzhoda in se nismo mogli nehati čuditi. pokrajini, ki se tako hitro spreminja iz stepe v zelena polja in nazaj do že skoraj puščave, neverjetni gostoljubnosti, starim, pravzaprav najstarejšim mestnim jedrom ujetim v čas in zlitimi z okoliško pokrajino, božanski hrani in pistacijevim slaščicam in dejstvu, da se zdi, da ljudje popolnoma mirno in počasi živijo, čeprav diyarbakır preletavajo vojaška letala na poti v irak in čeprav nedaleč stran divja vojna v siriji. 

mardin market

cigaretes they roll are thick and without filter

on top of the world


the crew

lifestyle didn't change for decades

look at me, look at me!

street is a playground

serious game




streets of diyarbakır

dreamy house?

firinda tava, we got recipe:)



november happened while warm sun still welcomed us in the morning and every day heavier fog laid upon the city in the evening. it was not the only contrast felt. it was also about relation ljubljana-istanbul, after two months i am not a complete stranger anymore, it was about discovering imposing past and comparing it to decay neighborhoods or projects being built, without architects approval that project is benefiting the city not only in economic way, it was about feeling of glitter istiklal caddesi fading away and increasing interest of side streets and it was about, as always, learning from differences between people; random or those loved more and more day by day. 

med še toplim jutranjim soncem in vse težjo večerno meglo se je razpel november. ni bilo to edino nasprotje. šlo je tudi za razmerje ljubljana-istanbul, po dveh mesecih nisem več tako zelo tuja, impozantno preteklostjo historičnega dela v primerjavi z razpadajočo sedanjostjo nekaterih sosesk in bodočih projektov, ki mestu v prvi vrsti koristijo iz ekonomskega vidika, vedno bolj bledim bliščem istiklala in izgubljanjem v stranskih ulicah in kot vedno učenje iz razlik med ljudmi; naključnimi ali iz dneva v dan bolj ljubimi. 

cats enjoying sun
people enjoying sun
tarlabaşı neighborhood
discussing turkish-kurdish relations
driver's children taking vip seats
flower sellers being moved due to taksim project
under the bosphorus bridge on rainy sunday afternoon



i cut my hair last week. there are man/woman/man-woman hairdressers every ten steps and i was wondering how it feels inside. some of them are always full and those have to dry towels outside their studio otherwise they run out of them. almost every hairdresser designs his working place unique. the best are the most sincere ones, of course. unfortunately i didn't have my camera with me, but i'll try to describe it as detailed as i can.

on the window is written kuaför orhan. i can see him from outside. he's an older man with long white hair and black mustache  he's chatting with his friend who immediately returns back to his shop when he sees a new customer. i say merhaba and using pantomime ask if he could cut my hair. tamam! he almost jumps out of his armchair and offers me to seat on the middle one of the three old pink leather seats.
he steps out to get a towel. i look around. velvet-like textile of electric blue colour covers walls. there are posters hanging on one of them. i look at them again. they're showing orhan! first one is addressing him as 'kuaför orhan, the legend'. on the second one he poses proudly, with wind in his hair and the third one is suggesting whole world is coming out of his chest with harem girls, flowers and music!
he covers me with black and white striped fabric. there is sink in front of me and unlike in other european studios i put my head on another towel and lean forward. he's mainly man hairdresser so he washes my hair with man shampoo.
we use gestures again to say how much he can cut. i try to answer his other questions. i cannot understand them even if he speaks very slowly because language is not similar to any i know. so i tell him where i come from and why i am here. i suppose he's asking me this. meanwhile he combs my hair, takes his scissors, cuts twice and puts them back again. it's done.
because he's already finished half of his work he lights a cigarette. he offers me one as well. i take a sip of tea he prepared for me in the beginning. i lean back. i expect him to start drying my hair. instead, he puts a fresh tissue on little machine he takes from a shelf. 'massage' he smiles into his moustache. he massages my face, hair and neck. it feels so relaxing..
next, he dries my hair. he doesn't put tons of strawberry or cocos or other fruity smelling balsams and waxes on them, nor any of weather protection or lack of vitamin sprays.  i feel amazing, i promise him i'll come again and pay, according to his price list, 10 turkish liras (4 euros).      

prejšnji teden sem se šla postrižt. že dlje časa me je zanimalo, kako je, glede na to, da so moški, ženski, moški/ženski frizerji na vsakih deset korakov. vedno so polni in zunaj sproti sušijo brisače. vsak izmed njih si po svoje uredi svoj salon in najbolj iskreni so seveda najbolj izvirni. žal mi je, da nisem imela s seboj fotoaparata, ampak ga bom poskusila podrobno opisati.

na izložbi piše kuaför orhan. čez okno vidim, da je starejši gospod, z daljšimi belimi lasmi in črnimi brki. stopim notri, klepeta s kolegom, ki se nemudoma vrne v svojo trgovino, ko vidi novo stranko. pozdravim merhaba in ker seveda ne vem kako se reče postriči lase, primem majhen šop svojih las in z drugo roko nakažem škarje. tamam! vzkline in me posadi na že precej oguljen usnjen stol svetlo roza barve. 
stopi ven po brisačo, jaz pa se ozrem naokoli. vse stene prekriva žametu podobno blago električno modre barve. na eni izmed sten visijo posterji. pogledam še enkrat, če prav vidim. nato spet njega, ki se zdaj vrne. osebi sta isti. orhan je očitno zvezda! posterji prikazujejo njega v frajerski pozi z vetrom v laseh in ga naslavljajo z 'orhan kuaför the legend'. na enem izmed njih se mu iz prsi vije cel svet, poln lepotic in rož in glasbe!
ogrne me s črno-belo črtasto prevleko in se ves čas smehlja. pred mano je čisto navaden umivalnik in v nasprotju z evropskimi frizerji, kjer glavo nagneš nazaj, se tukaj skloniš naprej in jo nasloniš na brisačo. ker je večinoma moški frizer, mi lase umije z moškim šamponom. 
zopet se s kretnjami zmeniva koliko me naj postriže. vmes mu poskušam odgovarjati na njegova preprosta vprašanja. tudi če me vpraša počasi in skoraj po zlogih ne razumem, ker besede niso podobne nobenemu izmed jezikov, ki jih vsaj malo poznam. vseeno na pamet odgovorim iz kje sem in kaj tukaj počnem.
v tem času mi razčeše lase, dvakrat razpre in zapre škarje in jih odloži. to je to.
ker je na pol že opravil svoje delo, si prižge cigareto. ponudi tudi meni. čaj, ki mi ga je pripravil na začetku, se je med tem primerno shladil in naredim prvi požirek. naslonim se nazaj in čakam na fen. ampak!
na pripomoček, ki ga vzame s police položi čist papirnati robček. 'masaž' se zahahlja v svoje brke. zmasira mi obraz, lasišče in vrat. tako sproščujoče..
nazadnje mi torej posuši lase. ko konča, me ne polije s sladkimi vonji jagode, kokosa in ostalega sadja, niti ne polepša s sintetičnimi laki in sto zaščitami proti vremenskim vplivom in pomanjkanju vitaminov. počutim se odlično, obljubim da pridem spet in za opravljeno delo po ceniku z veseljem odštejem 10 turških lir (4 eure). 

one of many kuaförs..but none like orhan!



yesterday we finally realized some of our ideas that we came across while living together. our apartment is on top of an older building, which means that (as most of the houses here) has a terace upstairs. unfortunately is quite neglected and we're spending there less time than we should. we wanted to do something about it, tidy it at least..
terace is covered with roof tiles that are visible on some parts. not that much to hide them, but more to revivive the atmosphere we decided to put large piece of fabric above the table. we couldn't get appropriate width so we took two smaller parts and tied them together in very simple way. we tied the fabric around the two beams so it can be easily removed (owner doesn't allow any permanent changes).
there was a fantanstic party under 'the cloud' afterwards with good food, drinks, music, amazing view and this is only the beginning. welcome;)

včeraj smo končno uresničili par idej, ki so se nabrale v tem času. na vrhu stanovanja imamo noro lepo teraso z razgledom, ki pa je žal precej zanemarjena, zato se na njej zadržujemo manj kot bi se lahko. že nekaj časa smo si želeli nekaj ukreniti glede tega, jo vsaj pospraviti..stvari so se odvile tako. terasa je pokrita s strešniki, ki so tu in tam vidni. niti ne zato, da bi jih prekrili, bolj zato da bi poudarili vzdušje, je bila ideja, da nad mizo obesimo kos tkanine. ker ni bilo mogoče dobiti potrebne širine, smo vzeli dva manjša kosa in ju zvezali skupaj na preprost način. na vseh štirih koncih smo blago nato zavezali za tramova tako da ga je mogoče kasneje tudi odstraniti. s tem smo ugodili lastniku (upam), saj ne dovoli nobene trajne spremembe. pod 'oblakom' se je nato odvil hud hud žur, z dobro hrano, pijačo in glasbo, zjutraj je sledil zajtrk, ki se je prevesil v popoldne  in sploh je to šele začetek. dobrodošli;)



sometimes i listen to turkish singer birsen tezer in the morning. her songs fit perfectly with it and it reminds me of times in ljubljana, when I was listening to them in my little room on stari trg, waiting for all of istanbul to happen.

včasih zjutraj poslušam pesmi birsen tezer, poleg tega, da se popolnoma zlijejo z jutrom, me spomnijo na čas, ko sem jih poslušala v ljubljani, v svoji mini sobici na starem trgu in so bile vse skupaj šele sanje in me prijetno zvije v trebuhu. dobro jutro.




since it's not allowed to walk across the fascinating bosphorus bridge, we didn't hesitate to register for eight km 'fun run' accompanying big istanbul maraton, starting at asian and finishing at european side of the city. we were a bit worried about the distance after two months of erasmus lifestyle but once we saw that also turkish people enjoy maraton doing everything else but running, we strolled slowly across the bridge and enjoyed the view and weather while asking ourselves at which step asia stops and europe starts.

ker se ni mogoče kar tako sprehoditi čez fascinanten bosporski most, smo se brez odlašanja prijavili na spremljevalni tek istanbulskega maratona, imenovan 'fun run', ki se je začel na azijski in po osmih kilometrih končal na evropski strani mesta. vsaka zaskrbljenost zaradi morebitne nepripravljenosti na takšno razdaljo po dveh mesecih erasmus življenja, se je izkazala za neupravičeno, ko smo videli, da tudi ostali 'tekmovalci' počnejo vse ostalo kot pa zagreto tečejo. tako da smo se lagodno sprehodili čez most, občudovali zaslužen razgled in se spraševali, ob katerem koraku se konča azija in začne evropa.

erasmus world cup

so smart!


we, runners

any words needed?



freshy squezeed orange juice for 1tl (40 cents) is not just an orange juice if it's served together with a story from a syrian guy, waiting for his visa to france. 
'how did you come to istanbul?' 'i escaped two months ago.'
'how will you go to europe if your visa request is rejected again?' 'illegally.'

i look at him with my eyes wide open and listen to his story, it's not the first syrian story i hear, but still, i'm admiring his voice not shaking while talking about the things he is confronting.

'do you work here every day?'  (we're talking at the kebab restaurant:)
'i used to but now they cannot pay me full-time job anymore because there is not enough profit. so i offered them to work three hours per day for free (11pm - 2am) in return for food and place to stay. i also teach arabic in the morning and sometimes work at the construction site in the afternoon. there is big one in tarlabaşi, you know.

(tarlabaşi is a neighbourhood i live in and about which i'll tell you more next time)

sveže stisnjen pomarančni sok za komaj 40 centov nima samo okusa po pomarančah, sploh če je postrežen skupaj z zgodbo sirijskega begunca, ki čaka na francosko vizo.
'kako si prišel sem?' 'pred dvema mesecema sem pobegnil iz svoje države'
kako boš šel v evropo, če ti prošnjo za vizo zopet zavrnejo?' 'ilegalno.'

gledam ga s široko odprtimi očmi, ni prva sirijska zgodba, ki jo slišim, pa vendar, njegov glas se ne trese, ko govori o stvareh, katere je videl doma in s katerimi se sooča sedaj.

'ali vsak dan delaš tu?' (pogovarjava se v kebab restavraciji:)
'na začetku sem, zdaj pa me ne morejo več redno plačevati, ker ni dovolj prometa. ponudil sem jim, da delam tri ure na dan zastonj (od 11h zvečer do 2h zjutraj) v zameno za hrano in prenočišče. dopoldne poučujem arabski jezik in popoldne včash delam na enem izmed večjih gradbišč v bližini, tarlabaşi, mogoče si slišala, kaj se dogaja.'

(tarlabaşi je predel mesta, v katerem živim in o katerem bom še pisala)



According to turkish criteria this coffee is far from what it should be (no foam on top, not dense enough) and I don't even dare to think what destiny is inside it. I will practice more, although in my opinion this cup of coffee promises at least a nice saturday afternoon. 

Po turških kriterijih sem še daleč od profesionalke (premalo pene na vrhu, preredka) in si niti ne upam pomisliti, kakšno usodo skriva usedlina. Še bom vadila, čeprav po mojem mnenju tale skodelica prerokuje vsaj lep sobotni dan.



bayram is a four-day religious festival during which sheep are slaughtered and their meat distributed to the family, relatives and those in need. not everyone does it and not everywhere is done, of course. however, it's time of the year when people visit their families and consequently cities are suddenly scarely empty. we visited some of them, drank a lot of çay with locals, improved our begamon skills, looked for butterflies on an ex-hippie beach, ate soo good all week and in the manner of bayram prepared fish ourselves under the full moon!

bayram je štiridnevni praznik, prvotno namenjen žrtvovanju živali, predvsem ovc. po vaseh (no, tudi manjših mestih in slišala sem, da pri mojih sosedih v istanbulu prav tako) je to še mogoče videti, v glavnem pa je to predvsem družinski praznik, ko se vsi iz velikih mest vrnejo domov k družinam in posledično mesta ostanejo skoraj srhljivo prazna. na enotedenskem izletu smo se sprehodili po nekaterih izmed njih, se ustavljali v vaseh in srkali čaj, v polomnljeni turščini spraševali za smer, se urili v priljubljeni igri begamon, našli rajsko, nekdanjo hipi plažo, vse skozi noro dobro jedli in si v stilu bayrama pripravili ribjo pojedino ob ognju pod milim nebom!

istanbul_çanakkale_izmir_çesme_fethiye_kelebek vadisi_denizli_pamukkale_bursa_istanbul


village life

our paradise

is it true, is it snowing in europe?

watch and learn

morning, afternoon and evening tea

winning breakfast of the trip!

preparing fish is easy if you can buy fish, grill and charcoal at the same place

each olive tree has its own wall

in six?

the (fish) end



after more than one month in istanbul i finally decided to start writing. since it's impossible to describe everything that happened so far in one post, let me simply start with the name; istanblue sounds right (any similarity to vodka called istanblue is just a coincidence:) because blue suggests colour of the marmara sea that balances this chaotic and never-ending city. whenever something sounds or feels right, i believe it is right. vzhodnomodra is a slovenian (phonetical) translation of the name, where first part of the word ist- sounds like east and is therefore translated to vzhod (meaning east) and second part of the word -blue into modra (signifying colour). if there is something like light or dark blue to describe the world around, i think eastern blue could exist as well. 

po več kot enem mesecu sem se končno odločila, da začnem pisati, vendar ne na začetku. zato sredi vsega (za uvod) par besed o imenu. istanblue se sliši prav (in vsaka podobnost z  vodko istega imena je zgolj naključje), ker spomni na marmorno morje, ki vsak dan znova uravnoteži kaos na ulicah tega neskončnega mesta. verjamem, da kadar stvari zvenijo in/ali se čutijo prav, so prave. vzhodnomodra je 'fonetični' prevod in se neverjetno ujema s smerjo neba, h kateri se od tukaj nagibam. glede na to, da poznamo svetlomodro, temnomodro, zelenomodro in še več, se mi zdi odtenek vzhodnomodre prav tako mogoč. 

bosphorus bridge connecting european to asian side