May 9, 2012

5 p.m. on the corner of Krucza and Wilcza

El Santino and Miss Piggy chillin' in the afternoon sun, waiting for snow in Havana.
In the meantime, we were talking plane tickets, research plans, robots, dance, work and chocolate cupcakes. Spring afternoons in Warsaw, when the air smells of fresh energy and endless possibilities, have always been one of the main reasons why I love this city so much. And today was no exception. 

May 1, 2012

Istanbul in a nutshell

It's been ages since I last had so little time to explore a city yet, to my surprise, Istanbul and I sparked from the first few hours. It was more of a sniffing the city's potential situation than actually interacting with it, nevertheless I still have more than a few highlights: 
- the city is inconceivably large. Warsaw looked like a little village on Sunday afternoon when I finally got home after very little sleep, a lot of time spent on planes and airports and too much coffee (but even that didn't stop me from sleeping 19 hours).  
- the food (all of it, but especially the indecently sweet cakes). I think I ate in three days more than I normally eat in two weeks in Warsaw and I didn't regret any bite nor did I count any calories, which is not my typical behavior

- Turkish baths - another proof that my obsession for spa treatments is a very legitimate one. I felt relaxed, pamepered and, strangely enough, hungry
- drivers, especially bus drivers. They drive, speak on their cell phones, count money and give change, manage to squeeze themselves in the traffic that pretty much resembles what I had previously seen only in disaster films,  when the main character desperately needs to get to his loved ones but is stuck in a motionless sea of cars. I don't know about the end of the world, but Turkish drivers are pretty damn impressive.  
- Bagdad street late at night after dancing with a very skillful salsero and the bars near the marina, bazaars, small shops in the narrow and hustling streets, glittery plastic, freshly squeezed juice, kebab places (I even liked the smell of those and they normally make my stomach hurl), fake Fendi and Louis Vuitton bags, which I honestly believe to be the most authentic souvenir one can buy in Turkey, silver jewelry, spices, sweets

- Taksim and its almost surreal contrasts, Cuba bar, the bartender who was fluent in English and Spanish, Son de Cuba and a nostalgic on both ends conversation about rumba, Havana, dancing and performances, cake, the guy dancing breakdance, taking a cab to get to the bus stop to get to the airport
- the gay club which I found by accident while looking for Cuba bar and the guys who offered me tea and asked if I really intended to go to a party without wearing make up
- University campus, the size of a small Polish village, a very unfortunate conference which I feel very happy to have attended because otherwise I would have imagined something completely different than it actually was
- the sea. Impossibly blue, breathtaking in its beauty, feeding my fantasies about the war of Troy and convincing me I had to go back. 

Apparently this is the year of ports. Since February I'm practically living half the time in my suitcase and after a very lucky and warm encounter with Tallinn (more on this coming soon) and a very unfortunate one with Oslo (nothing to be shared about that except that I hope I never have to go back there again), a few weeks ago I went back to Gdansk (which is my second favorite city in Poland after Warsaw and deserves a post of its own) and I'm getting ready for Liverpool. And, in the more distant future, for the most beautiful port on the most beautiful island known to mankind.