ISTANBUL: Staying and eating locally with friends!

When I was in Istanbul I didn't stay at any of the clever boutique guesthouses or hotels nor at one of the many hostels, but stayed locally with two different friends in two different locations around the city. I got an opportunity to experience a window of everyday life in Istanbul. One from the perspective of a Turkish chef who opened his kitchen to me where I would be an apprentice/ student of Turkish cuisine. The other perspective came from a South African/ Australian expat working at an International School in a more prestigious area of Istanbul. Visiting him brought back nostalgic feelings from my past life as an expat in  prestigious contracts with overseas jobs.

My generous South African/ Australian friend named Prags is also of Indian origin, so he shared a wonderful interpretation of South African-Indian curry, and invited some of his expat colleagues to join us in a small dinner party. He was very conscious about some facial blemishes and always avoided me when my camera came out. He is not shown among his expat colleagues in the photo below.

My very charming and wonderfully generous host in Istanbul, welcoming me to his kitchen and showing me how to make Mendi- a Turkish "ravioli".

I love to sample local pastry and sweets. The cleaver looked ominous but quaint in this window scene.


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