Day 25 – 1st May 2014 leave 12.15pm miles rode 31 Istanbul

After a coffee or two Ceyhan headed out with his friend home to Bulgaria for 4 days and I caught up with laptop stuff. It’s ‘May Day’ and last year here in Taksim Square there were riots, I had wanted to observe but before I headed that way I heard there were shootings so Shelly (a cool American girl) and I spent the day chilling out together, we spent hours in an old shish-a cafe before wandering around the bazaar.

I’ve been riding in Istanbul on & off now for 2 weeks and on the surface this is a mad, crazy city but upon closer reflection it works like a ‘well oiled precision engine’. It’s been the same in most of the large cities of the world I’ve visited, take a quick look and its manic with people seaming to rush about in a haphazard manner with no rules or curtesy. Stand back and everyone has there place and job to do from the taxi drivers to the road sweepers to the high and mighty.

I’m obviously getting used to city riding as I’ve started using the horn on the bike. Not in an aggressive way as it’s used at home but to warn other road users that I’m here. Its a sensible use to prevent accidents not an aggressive ‘get out of my way’ demand.

Istanbul has clean streets, I haven’t seen one accident and people are so helpful and kind. I observed the way regular people feed the many stray cats & dogs, most wonderful was watching the local kebab shop giving free kebabs to the homeless people, they didn’t need to ask they just stood near the shop and the owner would come out and give them food. I spoke to Ceyhan about this and he said there are many examples such as all bakeries in the city have a bread basket where everyday people coming in to buy a loaf can buy two and put one in the basket for anyone else to come and take. What a great idea. Why don’t we do that?