We are back from Sweden and glad to be home. Actually I was discussing this with Senol in the taxi on the way back from the airport - about whether it feels like he is coming home when he gets back to Istanbul - and, strange as it may seem, we both agreed that it was like coming back to our second home. Australia (Melbourne to be exact) still rates above Istanbul for that coming home feeling even though Senol was born and grew up in Istanbul.
Stockholm was refreshing. It made me think about and compare the positives and negatives of Istanbul. So if I had to generalise -ok I don't have to but I will anyway! - I would say that Stockholm is more organised, has way less traffic, has cleaner streets, lots of bikes (yay! Sweden is very environmentally friendly as far as I could see) and excellent education. Stockholm also has a ridiculous number of tall, thin well dressed people in that very Swedish, thick rimmed glasses, designy, slim pants kind of way. Do you know what I am talking about at all here??? So cool.
But there was one thing I really missed about Istanbul - it was all the love and attention Yashar gets from everyone. Here in Istanbul every time we go out and about Yashar gets smiles from everyone. If we go to have a coffee the waiter or waitress will come over to say hello to him and play a few little games with him and will often pick him up and carry him around to say hello to all the other staff and customers! We are stopped on the street every single time we go out by people wanting to say hello and tell me what a cute little boy he is. In Stockholm, it was kind of sad to see him waving away at people as they went past, his eyes bright with anticipation, and often they would give him nothing back. Of course there were some lovely people we met in Stockholm that were friendly with him, but it was no where near the kind of attention he gets here. Children are truely adored in Istanbul.
Stockholm is a gorgeous city, made up of many small islands so that beautiful water views are intertwined with the city streets. This post is starting to get essay like though - so more on what we got up to next post!