Overall, I feel pretty safe in my new city. For the most part, people leave me alone unless I am at a street market or around tourist areas. I just keep on walking and don’t worry too much about being too nice. Some of these guys can be relentless.
It’s interesting to me because in China, I felt invisible. This is not the case here. This morning I went to an area that is falling apart and getting torn down for more commercial abodes and businesses. However, my understanding is the people are who are living there now are being relocated outside of Istanbul, which is making the whole thing a bit contentious.
For the most part, I really listen to my inner travel voice. It has served me well thus far so I tend to trust it. But it was weird this morning because I did not feel comfortable with my big camera taking photos in this particular place. People still live or squat in these run-down buildings and a girl with a camera is probably the last thing they want to see. Additionally, many of the men were kind of yelling/talking to me… that did not put me at ease. Most of the time, I would rather be safe than sorry particularly if I am walking around by myself, which I tend to do when I am taking photos. So I grabbed what shots I could and lit on out of there to have some breakfast with some friends.
Yet as I was walking around this semi-ghost town, I kept thinking of the people that lived there, past and present. I wondered about their stories, wishes, hopes, and dreams. When I live somewhere, I think that it’s going to be around or at least never change. And that’s all life is really, change. So to see these once beautiful and new buildings just torn up and smelling of trash, it was difficult not to get a feeling of nostalgia and empathy for those who don’t want it brought down.
For me, the idea that nothing stays the same is both invigorating and terrifying. I love comfort but I also love forward motion. I am not sure if I will visit this small district again, but I am really glad I had the chance to see it firsthand. And anyways, Taksim Square will always be there, right?