pamuk                                                  Istanbul

Memories and the city

  •   Life can’t be all that bad, I’d think from time to time. Whatever happens, I can always  take a walk along the Bosporus.
  • History becomes a word with no meaning.
  • Istanbul is a place where, for the past 150 years, no one has been able to feel completely at home.
  • The first thing I learned at school was that some people are idiots, the second thing I learned was that some are even worse. I was still too young to grasp that people of breeding were meant to affect innocence of this fundamental distinction, and that the same courtesy applied to any disparity that might rise out of religious, racial, sexual,class, financial, and(most recent) cultural difference.
  • My prolonged study of these photographs led me to appreciate the importance of preserving certain moments for prosperity , and as time moved forwards I also came to see what a powerful influence these framed scenes exerted over us as we went about our daily lives.
  • And before long , the music , the views rushing past the window , my fathers voice and the narrow cobblestone streets all merged into one , and it seemed to me that while we would never find answers to these fundamental questions , it was good for us to ask them anyway .
  • This mysterious decree would incite me to defy it and spit on the ground at once, but because the police were stationed two steps away in front of the Governor’s Mansion, I’d just stare at it uneasily instead. Now I began to fear that spit would suddenly climb out of my throat and land on the ground without my even willing it. But as I knew, spitting was mostly a habit of grown-ups of the same stock as those brainless, weak-willed, insolent children who were always being punished by my teacher. Yes, we would sometimes see people spitting on the streets, or hawking up phlegm because they had no tissues, but this didn’t happen often enough to merit a decree of this severity, even outside the Governor’s Manson. Later on, when I read about the Chinese spitting pots and discovered how commonplace spitting was in other parts of the world, I asked myself why they’d gone to such lengths to discourage spitting in Istanbul, where it had never been popular.
  • I have in all honesty believed that two people with similar names must have similar characters, that an unfamiliar word – be it Turkish or foreign – must be semantically similar to a word spelt like it, that the soul of a dimpled woman must carry something of the soul of another dimpled woman i knew before, that all fat people are the same, that all poor people belong to a fraternity about which i know nothing, that there must be a link between peas and Brazil – not just because Brazil is Breziliya in Turkish and the word for pea is bezelye but also because the Brazilian flag has, it seems, an enormous pea on it.