Friday, 4 April 2008

Istanbul, not Constantinople

What's the opposite of homesickness?

The short story I'm currently writing is set in Turkey and primarily in Istanbul. This is a city I've been lucky enough to visit twice: once in 1998 and once in 2003. As a result I've got my holiday diaries to draw upon for notes (Always keep a diary when on holiday!), and rather a lot of photos (I have 65 photo-albums so far, and now I've got a digital camera I'm taking more and better pictures). I've been looking through them all.

I don't actually like big cities as a rule, but Istanbul is something else. Magical.

Now I've got anti-home-sickness. I want to go abroad, desperately. I want to amble round museums and buy postcards. I want to explore Roman ruins and learn the histories of places I've never heard of. I want to wake up at 6am to the sound of the muezzin's call to prayer, and fall asleep again with a big happy smile on my face. I want that curious mix of insecurity and anticipation, and that feeling of connecting to a wider world. I want to experience the unfamiliar.

Holidays are really important to me. Hey: I spend almost no money on new clothes, shoes or make-up throughout the year, so I don't feel bad about what I do spend my earnings upon. We have a few dedicated holiday buddies that we often travel with, who have similar interests and stamina levels. That's really important!

And when I look back, these trips abroad are some of my greatest memories. And the memories go into my stories.


Kathleen Oxley said...

Sounds like your stories are greatly benefited by your travels. I hope you get to go on holiday soon!

Was your post title supposed to remind me of They Might Be Giants?

Nikki Magennis said...

Oh, I loved Istanbul. I actually cried when I saw the inside of the Blue Mosque.

Liking the new look, Janine!

Janine Ashbless said...

Ooh - my first commenters since I revamped the blog! Hi!!

Kathleen - that was the song I was thinking of. Thanks for the link! Now I've heard the TMBG version I'm going to have to download it...

And Nikki - Oh yes, the Blue Mosque! The best holiday I've ever taken was 2 weeks in Turkey. Loved it.