Bollywood on the Bosphorus

Posted on September 26, 2022


Life in the Boomer Lane has just returned from a glorious three week visit to Turkey, mostly spent in the company of Now Husband’s family. She returned to any number of media articles affording deep reflection of the Tsunami of Stupid that has taken over the GOP and its acolytes. In the next couple of days, she will certainly allow Loyal Readers a privileged glimpse into the innermost recesses of her thoughts about such unwarranted mental deterioration. But today is not the day. Instead, she will regale readers with something that might amuse them, without actually ruining their lives.

After arriving in Istanbul and basically sleeping away most of the first day, LBL and Now Husband spent a delightful second day exploring Büyükada, one of the Princes’ Islands off the coast of Istanbul. Büyükada is where Now Husband’s grandmother used to have her summer home. On the third day, they were due to meet his cousin and her family at a lavish restaurant for dinner. The restaurant was at the opposite end of their hotel in Istanbul, a city with the population and geographic area that eclipses most countries on the planet. The restaurant was the former palace of one of the daughters of one of the Ottoman rulers. With the lure of such a unique dining experience, they set out to take a tram, ferry ride, and taxi to their destination.

They started by taking the tram in the opposite direction. That minor inconvenience discovered and remediated, they somehow arrived at the ferry too early. With time to spare, they were told that an amazing new seaside promenade of dining and shopping delights had been created “right near the ferry” and decided to check it out. The day was hot and sunny and humid. “Right near” turned out to be at least a mile away. They walked until LBL’s hair approximated Larry from the Three Stooges, and her platform sandals seemed to have shrunk in size.

They arrived back at the ferry in time to note on the posted schedule that the ferry had just departed. After asking around, they were told that the ferry had not departed, but was about to. Now Husband turned to LBL and said, “Run!” This would have been a huge challenge under normal circumstances. The order was now akin to “Fly!”

LBL did the best she could (more a fast-paced hobble than a run,) catching her cotton shirt on the metal fence post and ripping apart the side seam of the shirt. She continued to “run.” She and Now Husband were the last passengers to arrive on the ferry, presenting the ferry passengers with a never-before-seen idea of what and actual American looked like.

After the ferry ride, they walked to the taxi arrival corner and lined up with about 50 hopeful others to get a taxi. It was now rush hour in Istanbul, an event that would take an entire post to describe. They finally got a taxi when a plucky woman who hailed a taxi before it got to the taxi stop, noted the condition LBL and Now Husband were in and graciously invited them to share her taxi. LBL and Now Husband thus arrived at the restaurant just in time to see what appeared to be the Oscars arrival in progress. Gorgeous people wearing gorgeous formal clothing were ascending the palace steps. LBL and Now Husband were told that a wedding was to be held that evening on the lower terrace of the restaurant. The bride was Indian. The groom was Iranian. The money was international.

LBL watched them through her frizz halo, wearing her ripped clothing and falling off her platform shoes. She had not peed all day and had only one mission, to find a bathroom. She went into the palace and ultimately found one.

She opened the rest room door and rushed in, not realizing before she entered that it was occupied by a large group of young, tall, impossibly perfect-looking female specimens, all wearing lavish, colorful, obviously custom-made saris, each one completely different. The bling was blinding. The women represented various ethnicities and looked like the finalists for the Miss World contest.

LBL, vertically-challenged under the best of circumstances, came up to these women’s perfectly-shaped breasts. The women were all chattering away, looking into the mirror, and adding finishing touches on perfection. It suddenly dawned on LBL that she was in the bathroom being used by the wedding bridesmaids. She smiled and took her frizzed-out hair and torn clothing into the nearest stall. She then waited until they were all gone before exiting. When she finally exited the stall, thinking the bridesmaids were all gone, she walked smack into a lone bridesmaid (Asian, stunning, whatever), looking in the mirror for some flaw that not even a microscope could detect. LBL noted that she, herself, seemed to have lost a couple inches of height while being in the rest room.

At dinner (a truly amazing culinary experience), diners on the upper terrace were treated to a real live Bollywood extravaganza on the terrace below, complete with many musicians and strolling peacocks. LBL thoroughly enjoyed her meal and the visuals that accompanied it. Aware that she was representing the entire US to the affluent Turkish diners, she smiled a lot and tried to appear as relaxed and human-haired as possible. She was unable to pat down her hair, though, since she had to keep her arm tightly pressed against her side so as to keep the giant rip from opening and exposing her entire Evelyn and Bobbie bra. Normally, she would have returned to the rest room after the meal. In this case, she toughed it out until she got back to the hotel and relative safety.