I got off the plane and headed towards customs. I had to buy a 90 day visa for 35TL or $20. Going through the passport line the woman simply scanned my passport and I was on my way. I headed to baggage carousel #6 and of course, my bag was missing. I went and filled out the claim and headed out the airport. There was supposed to be a driver waiting for me with my name on a sign. But as I walked out, there was no driver. I walked back and forth double checking, but still, no driver. I had no phone and even if I did I had forgotten to write down Sinem's address and telephone number. I went into a place where you book hotels to use their computer. I had some difficulties signing into my g-mail, where all my information was, but luckily I figured it out. I tried to call Sinem with their phone, but it was so muffled I couldn't hear her. I lost some hope and set out to look for another phone. These two men had seen me walk by multiple times asked me what I was looking for. I explained the situation and the younger of the two let me use his cell phone. I got finally got ahold of Sinem. She was so apologetic explaining that she thought my flight came in the next day at 12:20, not that time in the middle of the night. She told me she'd pay for a taxi and had me put her on the phone with the driver. After they hung up the older man asked me to go in to the Duty Free shop and buy him some whiskey for the next day (since you need a passport to buy it in there). I told him I would if he gave me a cheaper taxi ride, which he did. He gave me money and I legally bought alcohol in a foreign country! When I got back the man ended up passing me off to a different taxi driver (yeah, he just used me for the whiskey) and I was on my way yet again.
The driver was really friendly and didn't speak a lot of English. I tried to make some conversation with him and he said I was very nice. We drove through the old city of Istanbul at night. Seeing all the mosques lit up on the hill gave me such a calm feeling after the hectic journey. Once we made it to the house Sinem came and let me in the house. She was very apologetic once again. She got me some water then her and her husband and I sat out on the balcony. Their house is lovely. The second floor of this development. It's a flat with 5 rooms, a large kitchen, kitchen, and dining room. They sent me off to bed since they had to get up for work and I had to rest. I slept on and off from 4am til 2pm the next day. I hung out around the house, writing and reading, until the family came home. I met the house lady, Nordan, and she made me some breakfast. The little girl, Ayse Naz, came home first. The Sinem and the boy, Sevket, came home next. The afternoon was spent walking around outside and driving around the neighborhood. This part of Istanbul is very modern and very European. For dinner we all went out to sushi, conveyer belt style. Once we were back I read the kids some books before bed. I then got onto the internet and spent the night talking and updating and whatnot.
That's the adventure so far. I'll get pictures up sometime. Probably once I get my bag with the cords... But that's all for now :)