15 Kasım 2011 Salı

Two cities Thousand Differences

How can I compare and contrast Istanbul and London? One is British capital of immigrants from a multi-cultural approach and the other is an old Roman city and new cultural capital of Turks.

Istanbul is the city that I grew up, I have been a student for the first time, I fell in love and instantly I regretted, I made big mistakes as anyone did and I forgave myself, I worked and earned my money, saved and spent, travelled from and so.

London is the city where I was reborn, reincarnated, rediscovered my limits, and extended my knowledge, wisdom, experience and built up by personality further.

London is the city of "hope" where Istanbul is "hopelessness". People come to London to find better life conditions, jobs, better education or simply to find themselves. Whereas people come to Istanbul know that there is nothing they can find rather than this beautiful city itself and its unique view of Bosphorus.

Both cities have a theme on water: London's rain and Istanbul's humidity. Both cities are divided by water; London by brown river Thames and Istanbul by crystal clean sea water. Both cities have bridges: London Bridge and Tower bridge vs Istanbul Bosphorus Bridge and Fatih Bridge. Additionally, Istanbul is a virtual bridge between the West and the East, Europe and Asia, conservatism and liberalism. Whereas London is a melting pot, an orchestra of different cultures without any harmony and order in.

London has a good transport network under and overground, light and heavy railways, different variations and so. Istanbul has the most uncomplicated transport network ever -few lines only, also an overground bus lane which is treated as a subway called metrobus!? Both cities' transport system are bullshit when you need them anyways.

Istanbul cabs are yellow, driven by crazy drivers and London cabs are black and their chauffeurs are big-headed snobs.

In Istanbul when you dine out no matter how cheap the restaurant is you feel like you are served and welcomed but in London no matter how expensive the restaurant is you feel very cheap and unimportant.

In Istanbul people do not use many things in daily life: seat belt, traffic lights, fire extinguisher, bins, recycle bins, pavements, sorry, thank you, excuse me...

In London people either do not use or abuse some things in daily life: soap and water, alcohol, sex, toilet paper, napkin, tissue, sorry, thank you, excuse me...

In Istanbul it seems like women do not know how to open their car doors, how to park, how to carry a bag, how to tip, how to pay something if there happens to be a man around. In London women can do everything with or without men around!

In London if you have an appointment at 10.30am you turn up on time or earlier if late you give an excuse and say sorry but in Istanbul you may turn up some time before noon, no need to give an excuse if you do you just say "Istanbul traffic" and that's it. If you turn up on time you are called either an obsessed person or a punctual one!

In London when you send an email you usually receive a reply to confirm that your request is being handled and somehow you'll be got back to but in Istanbul you never receive a confirmation then you call them and the reaction is "offcourse we got your email and we're working on it" Wow really!?

In Istanbul Starbucks we all have our identity: they write your name on the coffee cups but in London you are just a call: "regular latte machiato!"

In Istanbul you don't feel comfortable when you spend all day out alone but London is the city of loneliness. You go to park, you eat, shop alone, live alone happily ever after. Lonely London... Sigh...

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