June 29, 2004

Istanbul

Some people recollect their childhood memories with perfect clarity; I cannot. Mine are oftenest clouded, their details hard to pick out. They seem as though telescoped away more distantly than they should be. My earliest memories: a step leading down into a kitchen with a tiled floor, or a sunlit backyard, with my sister, her arm around me… where someone is taking our photograph.

Detail from 'Galata Köprüsü', photograph by Faruk Koçak (2003).

When I was five years old my father broke his pelvis in a fall from the jib of a crane at his place of work. A large part of the compensation he was paid for this injury was spent on a family holiday that we could not have otherwise afforded: a Mediterranean cruise aboard the Oriana. Our itinerary: Southampton, Athens, Istanbul, Kos, Palma, Lisbon, Southampton.

Detail from 'Dolmabahçe', photograph by Faruk Koçak (2003).

This was my sole childhood experience of overseas travel, and, while I retain a disproportionate freight of memories from this vacation, very few of these carry with them any emotional or sensory charge: most are no more than sun-bleached mental snapshots. There are exceptions. I recall our ascent of the Acropolis for the baking noontime heat and the dry yellowness of the stones; and I recall the fragrant warmth of the evening breeze, with the ship moored overnight in Istanbul, as my sister and I, having escaped from our cabin, played at quoits on the deserted poop-deck, enchanted by the lights and distant sounds of the city.

Detail from 'Kuruçeşme', photograph by Nejat Akdaş (2004).

The images above were lifted from this on-line gallery. The first two images are Copyright © Faruk Koçak (2003), and the third is Copyright © Nejat Akdaş (2004). They are reproduced without permission, only for as long as no-one objects to their presence here.

Posted by misteraitch at June 29, 2004 11:42 AM | TrackBack
Comments

fine entry indeed. I am a reader of your very interesting blog, that is among my links. Yours,
Milton

Posted by: Milton on June 29, 2004 01:04 PM
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