It was on August 4th, 2014, that I got my first glimpse at the shore of turkey. Despite my groggy state and red eyes that begged me to give them a rest, courtesy of the 5-hour flight from Dubai, I couldn’t help but stare at the vast expanse of the Mediterranean through the plane window. The sun had just come up an hour ago, and the sunlight hit the ocean at just the right angle to give the illusion of diamonds floating in the water. To say I was flabbergasted by the beauty of it would be an understatement.
Having grown up near the sea for the majority of my life had made me love the oceans, sea, beaches, lake, you name it and I’m pretty sure I would be in love with that water body. So just imagine my state when my eyes laid upon nothing but water as I stared out the window. I could see small ships resembling raisins from such a height. I kept on watching as the ships became denser and the variety increased as well. And finally, I could see the coast of Istanbul and nothing- not even the wailing baby-could have me take my eyes off such a majestic sight.
Fast forward 2 hours and I’m standing outside the airport with my family, the sun beating down on us with such a ferocity that had me thinking if it had some personal issues with us. I guess you could only appreciate the sun when you’re sitting in a comfortable seat, in a cold environment with a blanket wrapped around you, looking out of the plane and thanking the sun for make it look like barrels of diamond exploded in the sea.
Too bad I couldn’t glare back at the sun. I don’t think my corneas would have appreciated it. Anyway, squinting my eyes and assessing the view before me, the very first thing that I noticed was the diversity. Of course, standing in front of an international airport of the world’s most 2nd visited country will make you notice that. But the diversity I noticed was not among the crowds of people rushing past me. No, it was the taxi drivers that caught my eye. I could see people of all skin tones, speaking different versions of Arabic, I saw Chinese, I saw Americans and some South Asians here and there too. Being a big fan of diversity, I felt a smile gracing my lips.