Life in Istanbul: Asian Bliss and Biting the Bad Apple

Bliss on the Bosphorus

This past month in Istanbul, I have been living and working on the Asian side of the Bosphorus.
004-istanbul-map1Although the European side of Istanbul is the most touristy, there are many ways to enjoy yourself and find bliss on the Asian side as well. 😀

Golden Horn Ferry Tour
DSC_7992ec59f-slide020For starters, from the Asian ferry port of Üsküdar, my roomates and I took a ride up the Golden Horn for a mere $1. While cruising up this narrow body of water, we caught spectacular sea views and spotted at a few interesting sights along the way. 🙂DSC_7994DSC_7997DSC_7993Fener Greek High School is the oldest and most prestigious Greek Orthodox school in Istanbul.
DSC_8003Istanbul Aviation Museum in Yeşilköy.
DSC_8008While the ferry stopped at many ports along the Golden Horn, we chose to get off at the Ayvansaray harbor to explore the Walls of Constantinople and the Chora Church.DSC_8010DSC_8012Ayvansaray district. DSC_8047DSC_8039DSC_8046DSC_8022DSC_8018

Walls of Constantinople

The Walls of Constantinople are a series of stone walls and towers used to protect the city of Constantinople during the Byzantine Empire, around 330 AD.

DSC_8016DSC_8032DSC_8116Kitty palace built into the land wall. 🙂DSC_8041DSC_8040Historically, the defensive land walls were commissioned by Constantine the Great, as a means of protecting the city from invasion, by both land and sea.

Here is the original layout of the walls.250px-Map_of_Constantinople_(1422)_by_Florentine_cartographer_Cristoforo_BuondelmonteThis barrier was upheld until Ottoman forces stormed through the wall on the 29th of May in 1453. Despite this attack, much of the land walls are surprisingly still intact, and a few portions are sturdy enough for walking. 🙂
Climbing the land walls. 🙂DSC_8118DSC_8122Walking the land walls.DSC_8128DSC_8127DSC_8133

Chora Church

Chora Church, near the land walls, was originally built as a Byzantine church, then converted to a mosque after the Ottoman invasion.

Currently the building serves as a museum, which showcases truly stunning Byzantine mosaics and frescoes. Admission is $5.DSC_8115Sparkling gold frescoes.DSC_8056DSC_8102DSC_8054DSC_8110DSC_8082DSC_8109DSC_8091DSC_8078

Asian District of Kadikoy

Bliss can also be found in the Asian district of Kadikoy. This up-and-coming neighborhood is buzzing with people, young and old. A great balance of community locals and young hipsters, where you can find affordable antiques, quirky souvenirs, or stop at a trendy cafe. 🙂 DSC_9294DSC_9293DSC_9289DSC_9279DSC_9290Silly souvenir shopping. 😛
DSC_8052Here are a few highlights of my experience in Kadikoy. 😀

Walter’s Coffee Roastery

A Breaking Bad themed cafe, with delicious Irish lattes. 😀

Ciya Sofrasi

The dishes at Ciya Sofrasi come from the southeastern region of Gaziantep, with a delicious mezze bar full of veggie options, including hummus, bulgur, and stuffed grape leaves.

jjDSC_9295Red lentil soup and fresh bread dipped in a strange powdered cheese. Surprisingly tasty. 🙂 DSC_9306DSC_9307Vegetarian mezze bar. DSC_9296DSC_9298For great views of the Bosphorus and sea of Mamara, head to the dock in Moda near Kadikoy.
IMG_7922For the best view on the Asian side; however, I only have to venture a few blocks from my apartment. 🙂

This is Camlica Hill, the highest point in Istanbul. istanbulcat

Biting the Bad Apple

Despite the bliss I have felt living on the Asian side of Istanbul, things have not gone so well with my school and recruiter. :/

Unfortunately, after numerous issues with my school, Bahçeşehir, and my recruiter, Senka Turz, I have decided to resign from my current teaching position.

I feel like I have bitten the bad apple of the bunch. I took a position that turned out to be pretty rotten. :/

The recruiter did not follow through with many obligations in my contract regarding housing, working visa, training, and transportation. My school was disrespectful, disorganized and I completely disagreed with their techniques for teaching and classroom management.

It was an easy decision to leave, since I feel like I would not grow personally nor professionally as an ESL teacher at that school.

On a lighter note, myself and the majority of my colleagues have resigned, and we will be moving on to new ESL positions in Asia.

No worries! I won’t let this one bad apple spoil the bunch. I still have faith in great ESL positions. 😀just-because-you-find-one-bad-apple-doesnt-mean-you-should-give-up-on-the-whole-tree-reducedIn fact, in the next few weeks I will be departing Turkey, bound for the beautiful country of Thailand, hoping to find continued Asian bliss. 😀

I will begin working with Assumption College in Bangkok. The school has a strong curriculum and an intensive training program. Living in Thailand has been a dream of mine for years, so I am excited beyond belief for this new journey in life. 😀

Until that time, I plan to travel a bit around Turkey, taking in the country’s top sites as my final farewell. 🙂

Stay tuned for some great travel experiences in central Turkey, as well as, my upcoming move to Bangkok. Until then! 🙂


2 thoughts on “Life in Istanbul: Asian Bliss and Biting the Bad Apple

    1. Hi Diane!

      I really appreciate your support and encouragement. 🙂 Honestly, this was the best decision for my career, and seems to be a smart decision for my safety as well. Looking forward to a fantastic year in Bangkok. 😀 Thanks for following the blog. 🙂


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