A couple of days ago, I took the Metro at Teksim Square. The Metro and the square are on the “modern” or new side of Istanbul, and I had to take a Taksi to get there – $7.00 – not too bad. This square has been the site of many protests, demonstrations and rallies. The monument there is a testament to the new Republic of Turkey. Teskim Square is also a very busy tourist and business area. It kind of reminds me of where the financial district and Union Square meet combined with the foot of the Embarcadero circle.
The Metro is pristine, colorful and clean. The people and the Metro attendants were very helpful. But it was the cost of riding the Metro that was amazing! It was only 3 lira or $1.50 to go ANYWHERE on the line. Coming from the Bay Area, I again realized how unreliable, expensive and dirty BART is, and why people from other countries are shocked at the dirt, inefficiency and expense of BART. The Metro even has ATMs in the station!
I got on the train and thanked the woman I’d asked for directions. Then I met Bruce, who’d overheard me speaking English, came over and introduced himself. We talked for a bit, and I learned that he was from the US (Chicago area) but had not lived there for more than 30 years. He’d lived in China and was now in Turkey to learn Turkish. He warned me not to get married in Saudi Arabia, because I’d basically be trapped there and would not be able to leave without my husband’s permission. I explained that I was going to KSA to work, not get married. He smiled, offered me his card, and asked me to please stay in contact with him. No, I did not offer a card, but I did give him my (first) name.