An evening stroll in Avcilar, Istanbul


Avcilar, Istanbul, July 2015, 2I live in Istanbul, but far from the city center. I’m in a municipality called Avcilar (pronounced Av jeel lar). I’ve been in this apartment right at a month and try to walk in the neighborhood for exercise and to explore. Today was a warm one, but this evening, shortly before dusk, a cool breeze blew in from the balcony and I just had to get outside and enjoy it. It was just before Iftar–the feast that breaks the day of fasting during Ramazan (Ramadan). I had no plan, but my feet took me to the central street of Avcilar, maybe a mile away from my apartment. I found a street fair/bazaar going on. Because everyone can eat and drink at sundown, the place was packed and probably will be for several hours. I’m not sure if some version of this occurs every evening or just during Ramazan. Guess I’ll find out.

I have a class to teach in the morning, so I didn’t stay long. But I’m shocked at how people seem to stay up most of the night during this holy month of fasting. Children playing loudly woke me up for the umpteenth time at 3am today. These kids can’t be even 12, so I doubt they are fasting, though their parents probably are. It’s a different world.

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I'm a professional vagabond. I quit my cubical job in January 2014. Since then, I've hiked the Appalachian Trail, The Camino, and taught English in Vietnam, Turkey, Russia, Spain, Mexico and Peru. I'm exploring the world and you can come too!

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