May 12 – Lost

That didn’t go so well today.

On the positive side, I did some pretty complex navigating around the back streets of Istanbul. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous several times today in the locations and situations I was finding myself in. I was probably 10 miles deep into the sprawl – its unbelievable how massive this place is. By comparison, Florida is the most populated state in the US with 19 million people – Istanbul alone is 17 million strong in a fraction of the size of the comparison state.  Navigating through the Gobi desert was simple compared to what I went through today.

Regardless of were I found myself (my phone/GPS died mid day), there was always someone around that went out of his or her way to help. I believe most everyone was just curious about me.  

Although I feel like minority in the mainstream areas of the city, it’s not until I was wandering through the impoverished areas today, that I understand truly what a minority I was. I was on some wild goose chase to find a social services office that was supposed to issue me a “temporary ID card”. As it turns out, the building nor the temp ID card exists. From the best I could tell, I believe I ended up with a Turkish tax id number?? This is supposedly the last piece of documentation I need to get the cargo released. It’s safe to assume the receiving shipment company and privately contracted customs company have never received a motorcycle before.

Anyway, I’d like to think its just ignorance of the process with the shipping company that landed me on this goose chase today. With my Turkish tax number, believe I have all of the documents needed to get my motorcycle released. Now I have to come to grips with the additional fees their looking to charge me.

Hopefully tomorrow is my last day in Istanbul.

No photos today – as much as I would’ve liked to capture some of the moments, places, and to share what the density of 17 million looks like; I couldn’t bring myself to pull out my camera today. It may be the character in the faces of the impoverished that makes great photos, but it felt disrespectful to pull out a camera on the people that were so quick to help.

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