TURKEY LESSON #110: Take your time
Today, Katie and I ventured out of the hostel to what is popularly known as “The Cistern”. It’s a Byzantine era underground cistern that was used as a water filtration system capable of holding 80,000 cubic meters of water for this ancient city we now call Istanbul.
I didn’t bring my camera, I just absorbed it all. Meandering along the slippery walkway, cold water dripping onto my head from above, I imagined the estimated 7,000 slaves who built it - how their backs must have ached lugging around these 9-foot tall marble columns and bricks; I pictured the people above ground whose lives were inconvenienced by the construction of the underground waterway; and I took in the beauty they were all part of.
Other visitors, meanwhile, trotted around visiting the massive Medusa heads at the base of two of the columns - the key tourist points - long enough only to snap a picture and leave. Seriously, did you travel this far just to take a picture? I can’t honestly picture them going home, printing the picture out and being taken back to that moment. Memories need more than a fraction of a second and auto flash to even have a chance of moving you. One must take their time for what it is: precious.
When you are privileged enough to have the time to luxuriate in ancient underground cisterns - or anywhere for that matter - than at least give yourself the chance to enjoy it for longer than your f-stop will allow.
Not everything is just there waiting for you to tick it off your list of to-dos. This life of travel is not work. Sometimes, for me, it can seem that way but hell I have to work. I’m stuck over here, remember? There are people who are making the conscious decision to spend their lives in a state of unnecessary hurry. To me, that’s ridiculous.
And they call me crazy. Psh!
Photo by Katie W.