Kadıköy and its surprise

It’s just another evening in Kadıköy!

Boats are carrying thousands rushing back home. Motors are doing their announcements out loud hoping they can get some more on board. Haydarpaşa just across the bay, is silent, its old trains are long gone. Setting sun is still warming up stone covered squares where Kurdish boys are dancing to the rhythm of the drums. It’s all typically Kadıköy!

I walk towards the market area to meet some friends at one of my favourite places: Çiya!

Kadıköy market is packed, as always, with people from different backgrounds and lifestyles. I see retired gentlemen discussing politics over a Turkish coffee in on of the many traditional-looking –but- modernized coffee shops along the street. I see younger generation sipping their lattes at trendy cafes. Many others are having fish with rakı, beer with chips, watching soccer on big screens, and so on… On the other hand, bookstores are still open and you can buy fresh vegetables or candies or teas, or dried nuts or…anything! That’s the thing I love about Kadıköy! I can hardly express the diversity in this cosmos.

Trying to find my way to Çiya, I walk passing by the Armenian Church, and here I see it! One of my childhood’s most emblematic objects! Standing in front of a small shop selling electrical materials, is my beloved and very much missed KUMTEL!

Kumtel, the grillmaster!

Don’t feel upset if you have never heard about this highly sophisticated, uber-advanced Turkish grill! That’s normal! Not only you, but many others probably never heard of this electrical grill or never paid attention to it, considering the abundance of other more attractive-looking, shinier grills available in the market. But I can assure you, that the best open-sandwiches of my childhood were the result of this simple and cheap grill. Time stops and rewinds and I am 10 again! I can almost smell the melted kaşar cheese and sucuk on top if, right out of the grill, and I, with sea water dripping from my hair, am hungry like hell!

I thank Kadıköy for giving me back my KUMTEL and some of my childhood memories.

Then, I keep walking with a smile on my face…