A Down Day for the Family

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I awoke around 8:30 this morning after a really good night sleep. Ilise was also awake but the kids were still sleeping. I had a 10 am appointment with Binnur, one of the key people helping us with introductions during our stay in Istanbul. We had dinner together last week but really didn’t get to spend much time together. So, we planned on having breakfast together near her home in Bebek, about a 30 minute taxi ride from Taksim. I decided to take the Metro and then jump in a taxi when I got closer to her area.

View of Bosphorus from Bebek.
View of Bosphorus from Bebek.

We met around 10:15 at this nice little pastry shop called Baylan. We sat and talked about a number of topics, including her family’s move from LA to Istanbul about 4 years ago. I learned about Binnur’s family and about her work. We enjoyed our time together and I look forward to staying connected with Binnur, as well as her friend Tijen who we have spent so much time with. Binnur is a film maker and producer. She has been working on numerous projects and I talked with her about building some sustainable revenue streams for her business vs relying on project work to always pay the bills. In the 20 plus years I have been consulting I’ve learned a bit about different business models and which make life easier.

After leaving Binnur I decided to walk back to Taksim. I was actually in the area that Hemi, our friend from the Seder, had told us to walk to from Ortakoy, where Ilise and I spent the day before. I thought it would be a good walk, maybe 2 hours, and it was. I enjoyed the walk along the water, passed by numerous palaces, including one that was turned into a hotel. I also passed the same potato stands where we ate lunch the day before and picked up another one just for me. This time I added a bunch of stuff that Ilise didn’t want on our shared potato. It was a pretty long walk but flat along the water until I had to make my way up the hill from the river to Taksim Square. I really enjoyed the fresh air and the time to think.

Saat Kule from the front with guards in glass booths.
Saat Kule from the front with guards in glass booths.

On this trip I have realized a number of important things about my present life and my future. It’s walks like the one I took today, along with some meditation and daily exercise routines that have started to bring more clarity to my future. I even remembered a dream I had the other night. I haven’t remembered a dream in a very long time. I’m looking forward to the rest of this trip as we head to Italy on Saturday. The rest of this week is pretty much planned out with dinner each night with different friends we have met, along with tomorrow’s school field trip, Thursday at Topkapi Palace and the Hagia Sophia and another down day on Friday before a Shabbat dinner and a flight to Naples on Saturday morning. A very full week but one I will not soon forget. This trip continues to be one great experience after another, except for the continued jabbering between Drew and Noah. Anyone have any ideas about how to keep two teenage siblings from killing each other? All advice is appreciated.

To a life well lived!


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