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About living one year in the sharing economy…

Day 179: Turkish hospitality

Oh, I feel guilty for not blogging enough lately. The problem is that when too much happens, it's just hard to find the time. I had an amazing weekend in Istanbul. But just couldn't find the time - or enough wifi - to write about it.

Anyway. The second night I had chosen the "weird and fun" salsa guys as my hosts. One of them suggested we could meet at Taksim square in the evening and go to some salsa party. Sure, I can't dance salsa, but why not? First we had a beer and then we went there. It started with a kizomba workshop. This is the second time in a month that kizomba shows up in my sharing economy adventures... interesting.

"Are you sure you'll be ok", asked my host who was a bit worried that I'd get bored. But I don't mind drinking beer on top of a hotel with a view over Istanbul, watching people dance something that apparently is related to tango, but honestly looks more like foreplay.

Though most of the evening people were dancing salsa. Which I never found really interesting. Until now. Everyone was so good at dancing! And improvising! So cool to see. Yes, my host was really good at it too, and offered me a free salsa lesson later at night after we had had a drink on the "balcony overlooking our vast Manhattan". It was a very interesting experience sitting there drinking vodka and eating doritos, looking at a group of sky scrapers, while listening to the sound from the minarets all around announcing the beginning of the fast at three in the morning. (And before that the drummers)

The flatmate of my host was actually fasting, which means not even a glass of water is allowed from early morning until sunset, and we felt a bit guilty when having a Turkish breakfast (that my host had bought in the market and prepared for me, so sweet) right in front of him the next morning. Anyway, both of them were so nice and hospitable. I was already pretty tired after only two (late) nights in Istanbul and spent the morning just relaxing in one of the sofas, and it really felt comfortable, even if we had just met the day before. Then in the afternoon they drove me to my friends' place where I was going to a party, which was also very nice, since Istanbul is a huge and very messy city. 

So all in all I had super nice Couchsurfing hosts both nights in Istanbul. Apparently Turkish people are known for their hospitality, and I really understand why.

And the friends I was going to next was also a perfect example of that. Throwing a great midsummer party on their terrace with an absolutely amazing view. I don't know what drinking champagne with interesting, fun and crazy people in the Istanbul night has to do with the sharing economy exactly. But in the end I did sleep on the couch. (The first one, since the other hosts even offered me super comfy beds!) The last day they offered me more amazing food and more champagne. What a way to celebrate midsummer!

Thank you so much all great people in Istanbul that I met for your hospitality and for sharing food, drinks, couches, salsa and more. It was an absolutely unforgettable weekend.