Tag Archives: Istanbul

First Impression

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Istanbul Airport

I met this couple at Islamabad airport, while waiting for boarding the plane to Istanbul. We got talking, and I found out that they have been living in Vienna for the last twenty three years. Her husband was helpful in finding me the direction of Qibla, so I could say my Isha prayer, and then later in the early morn reminding me of Fajr prayer. The woman was reserved, not a smiley face there.

We boarded the same plane. Our paths were going to diverge after Istanbul — theirs to Austria, and mine to US. I usually use the minuscule restroom an hour before disembarking. To my dismay someone had vomited into the tiny basin, and left an array of used paper towels littering the area. Stoically I cleaned the wash basin, trying not to puke 🤮 myself at the sight, and smell of it. It took me sometime.

While I was finally doing what I needed to do, when the door started banging. Naturally I couldn’t open the door. Ignoring the voice at the other end I continued. The person wouldn’t stop banging the door. I told the person to go use another bathroom. There were three more in the same area, but the person kept banging, and shouting at me. Irritated beyond measure, I hurriedly cleaned my teeth, and stepped out. Imagine my surprise when I saw the lady from Vienna berating me for the use of the restroom telling me that I have kept her waiting when I should have stepped out the minute her majesty drummed at the door.

I had cleaned the area before using it myself, that’s why it took me a little longer to get out. The other ones standing there were sympathetic, and let me get off steam. My feelings — a manner less person. A first impression doesn’t last contrary to what they say.

Hope Shines

Tourist Trap
by Michelle W.
What’s your dream tourist destination — either a place you’ve been and loved, or a place you’d love to visit? What about it speaks to you?

Aya Sophia from inside — the names Allah, and Muhammad (peace be upon him), and picture of Jesus, and Mary. Photo: thanks to FJ

At the moment my deepest wish is to get back to Peshawar. Only God knows when it’s going to be fulfilled. I hope it’s soon Insha’Allah (if God wills), Ameen.

Knowing myself, I can predict that soon after reaching my dusty, old home town, I will be fed up with load shedding, and other problems.

I have been waiting to visit Turkey, and Malayasia during my husband’s lifetime, but it was not to be. I got raving accolades about Turkey from one acquaintance. From another it was a complete no-no. Both had their own experiences. So I don’t know what to decide.

One thing I know for sure is, I will try to co-ordinate the visit with my daughter. I don’t want to go on my own. For me it will be scary going alone to some place. She has not divulged which place she is likely to visit this year. Last year it was UK. I should remember to ask her on my next phone call.

I did make her promise that I will be included on the Turkey trip. So maybe I make it Insha’Allah.
Wishful thinking, and high hopes indeed!

However dark the surroundings it seems now

Hope shines brightly in my space

It will keep me from dark thoughts, and despair

Finally leading me to eternal peace


Sultan Ahmet Mosque, and Hagia Sophia
Photos credit: FJ (the photos are from his visit to Turkey, last year)