Un compte-rendu du séjour étranger d'une jeune fille pas mal ordinaire, étudiante en architecture, au coeur de Paris.
You know that friend that keeps you on the phone for hours on end when you really have somewhere else to be? Or that email you desperately need to send off before leaving work on Friday afternoon, but can’t get to until a colleague does their part? Well in short, what I’m getting at is that I’d love to type about my travels and experiences every week and keep up with the promises of keeping those at home posted on my endeavours, but alas, Paris seems to be a very, very high-maintenance friend, in need of my utmost attention.
But all jokes aside, I’ve been meaning to write about a story my friend and I experienced during one of our days in Istanbul, about two weeks ago.
I must first rewind to the night previous. On my third night in the city, my close friend (ERASMUS in Istanbul for the semester, as well as fellow Canadian classmate at Carleton Architecture) and I had some Turkish coffee in the most delightful Starbucks of the city. Its outdoor patio overlooked the beautiful Bosphorus, and the weather far exceeded that of current Paris. In Turkish coffee-reading tradition (Wiki told us), we were told to finish our cups of coffee, turn them over onto their saucers, and let them cool. Once they were cooled, we switched cups, flipped them around and observed the revealed markings within.
My friend looked at my cup, but with difficulty, as my coffee grinds had caked in a giant clump at the bottom of my cup… His cup, on the other hand, was rich in patterns which I was free to interpret as I pleased. I first saw some mountains, and told him I presumed he would be looking forward to some hiking during his travels this summer. He smiled, satisfied with the idea. I then turned the cup to the side and was amazed by what I saw: A very clear and remarkable representation of a dog. The details were incredible - right down to the colour patterns around his eyes and below his neck. I showed my friend the cup and asked him what he saw, as I pointed to the exact area which had just sent me shivers. “Well, a dog” he said. And with that, we agreed that he was likely to be getting a puppy sometime soon.
The following day, we planned to visit the third of the four Princes Islands situated on the Asian side of the continent’s border in Istanbul. The island was called Heybeliada. Expecting the likes of a beach, we were slightly surprised to find ourselves in what looked like a port town upon descending the boat at our arrival. Nonetheless, we set out to find the beach, which we knew existed somewhere on the island! We began our trek and soon found ourselves in the midst of nature and beautiful mountain scape views overlooking the ocean. Shortly after, we found ourselves in an open clearing - almost too magical-seeming to remember correctly - with horses and an abandoned soccer (ok, whatever-“football”) field. It was at this time, that - as far as either of us were aware - out of the blue, a beautiful small dog came bounding towards my friend and I. The dog looked extremely happy to see my friend especially, and went directly towards him, before proceeding to give him wet kisses and be given attention. He was the cutest!
I know you’re thinking here that we should have thought of the previous night at this point, but it was not on either of our minds. Just wait.
After playing with the dog for a few minutes, we decided to say goodbye and headed towards a dock which overlooked a portion of the ocean. But of course, the dog followed. He (or, well she- which we later established) sat down beside us on the dock while we soaked in the sun for a good twenty minutes or so. When we got up to leave, it seemed that it wasn’t done hanging out with us. The dog, which we soon began to call by the name of ‘Puppy Minaj’, stayed with us for the entire 6 hours we remained on the island, acting as our own private tour guide throughout the wilderness and city. It followed and waited for us at every stop, including our half hour break to go climb and explore some cliffs! This dog was possibly the most loyal friend I’ve ever made in the span of five minutes. It was the most magical experience, and even more when my friend suddenly said: “Hey, I guess the Turkish coffee reading does bear some credibility… You know, with all this climbing and hiking we’re doing today.”
It was then that I almost dropped everything I was holding. “THE DOG!” I said with my eyes wide open, disbelieveing. “Oh. My. God.” was pretty much all either of us could say for the rest of the day, having neither one of us made the association sooner. Needless to say, Istanbul was a magical place, where we made an unforgetable friend. :)
I don’t think the image begs much of an explanation. The resemblance is almost freaky, right down to the folded ears and spots above the eyes, and around the nose.