A few days ago I met some friends who had just returned from Istanbul, and they were telling me how pretty it was and how much they had liked it.
I was working in Istanbul for a few months years ago and also on holidays and totally agree, it is an amazing city, and very interesting culturally, althoug it is also the only place I have been where I have been scammed quite a few times in taxis. The last (and worst) one being a taxi driver taking me to a wrong airport, missing my plane and charging me double to take me to the correct airport again…. Profesionally one of the most complicated projects I have been involved in, but it´s also true that I made very good friends (so many intensive working hours, or you hate each other to death or you have a friend forever :-))
One of the most curious anecdotes that I have ever had, happend to me in Istanbul.
When I was working there, I always stayed in a the Conrad hotel, of the Hilton chain. It was a huge hotel, with a semicylindrical structure. All the rooms started in the one of the semicylinder corners, where the elevetor stopped, and finished in the other corner of the semicylinder, so depending on where your room was, you would need to walk all the way to the end of the corridor. Here you have a picture of the hotel, so you can get an idea of how it looks.
Well, one of the nights I was coming back from work, it was quite late, around 11,30 p.m., and I jumped into the elevator (there was nobody else around but the receptionist), and a guy my age in a suit came in th elevator with me.
Each of us pressed their floor, and when the elevator stopped, I went out and started walking towards my room which (of course!) was at the end of the corridor.
Suddenly, the guy in the elevator, comes out too, and starts walking behind me, I start to get a little bit nervous, since there was nobody around, and even if I could shout or knock a door, it was quite late and I hoped I wouldn´t have to…
I continued walking to my room, quicker, and the guy closer and closer, and me getting more anxious, thinking “I am NOT going to open my room with this guy next to me…”.
Finally I get to my room, and the guy stops behind me! so I turn around and I face him in a polite english: “Excuse me, beg your pardon? This is my room”, and the “fresh” guy says “No no, YOU excuse ME, this is MY room”
So, I forget all my plans and I say “Sorry? What do you mean with that_ This is MY ROOM!”, I get my card out and try to open the door, and….. it doesn´t open it!
The guy takes out “his” card, and opens the door… (OH MY GOD!!!!! I WANT TO DIE!!!) I can´t believe it! I had left the elevator in the wrong floor and what are the chances that in a 14 floors hotel, with more than 50 rooms each floor, two people who have the same room in different floors get the elevator at the same time and one of them get´s it wong??
Of course I didn´t know how to apologize, how embarrasing! And the guy couldn´t stop laughing….. Jeeeeez
Btw, if you go to Istanbul, go and visit the Basilica Cistern, it is one of the prettiest things I have ever seen…