Saturday, May 30, 2009

there's something magic about

This afternoon I crowded in with hundreds of daily commuters to take the ferry across the Bosphoros, from Europe to Asia. Then, an hour later, back to Europe again. It's a fifteen minute ride on a good sized but bare bones boat. Thousands and thousands of Turks do this trip at least once a day, since the river cuts the city right in half. Maybe you live in Europe and work in Asia. Maybe you live in Asia and work in Europe.

For me, of course, this was a monumental pair of quarter-hours in my life. The bright and penetrating blue river, chopped into white pieces by the rudder of my ferry. The wind and the sun on my face just long enough to feel revived but not long enough to get burnt. Hopping back and forth between continents. I've been to Istanbul before, and I've done the ferry trip before, but I couldn't wait for the chance to do it again.

What fascinated me, though, was that all those commuters seemed to be just as enthralled as me. We all crowded the gates to get onto the ferry, then people ran - yes, RAN - to get the outdoor seats overlooking the river. Guys climbed up on the rails to sit right over the splashes of water spewed up by the engine, children stood peering through the rails with their hands gripping the iron tightly, and friends crowded together on the benches that lined the sides of the boat. All faces seemed to be overcome by a look of wonderment.

How can it be that something so beautiful really doesn't ever get old?

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