Istanbul - the 2012 edition!

It's finally here: my yearly pilgrimage to Istanbul!

The flight there went very smooth, we even arrived 20 minutes early which is remarkable since the entire flight is not that long anyway, it usually takes about 2 hours and 40 minutes.

But as usual I had forgotten one thing - this time my purse with the Turkish lira I had left from last time (which means that I will have to come back again to spend it!). So I had to change some money in a hurry and run out to catch the shuttle bus at the last moment. It only departs every 30 minutes so I really was lucky not to have to wait for the next one.

What ever time we had saved on the flight all got wasted in the heavy afternoon traffic.
The bus also takes a different route through a long tunnel now since it can't stop at the usual place at Taksim Square anymore due to a huge new construction site there.

A friend picked me up and after dropping my luggage at the hotel he accompanied me on my usual first day round: dropping a dress to copy at the tailor - visiting the tango shoe maker to fix the worn out soles of my dance shoes - going to Legend costumes to order a costume. It was very useful to have him with me as a translator since most of these people speak nothing but Turkish.

We also went to eat cake to gain energy for more shopping.
We took the metro to a mall in Sisli where he wanted to buy some new suits and shirts.

My goodness, these men's shops are boring to look at! Black, grey, dark blue, brown... But I took the opportunity to sit down and relax.
One shop had women's clothes as well and I found a nice coat there.

In the evening I had dinner at one of my favourite cheap places. Then I took the taxi to the milonga.
Actually it was the closing night of the Tango Ritual festival. So it was a big affair with dance demonstrations by some of the teachers. That was quite cool.
Unfortunately the rest was rather dissapointing. As I had exerienced on other occasions, when I go to really big milongas where I know little or no people I rarely get asked to dance.
It's kind of frustrating - and also really boring to just sit there and wait. I only danced with a Italian visitor and with one Turkish guy I knew from last year. Not fun. I went home sooner than I planned and was a bit down from this experience.

I really will stay away from these big events in the future!