After a few moves, we settled in the very heart of Istanbul next to Taksim Square, a two-minute walk from Istiklal Street.
We loved this place and the welcoming friendly attention of the owner of the apartment, Khalil, and the sincere disposition of the housekeeper Zuleikha.
On Friday afternoon, when my son and I were about to go for a walk, as usual in anticipation of the arrival of our friends, an alarm clock suddenly rang on the phone, which none of us had set.
“You need to leave, there’s less than a week … you need to go to North America” - the creeping line on the top of the alarm clock said “prophetically”. By the way, how it is possible to write anything there is still not clear to me.
We did not know how to react to this warning, who wrote it, is it true or false.
We thought …
Why do we have to leave within a week, what can happen?
Unclear. There was no explanation.
“As for North America, it’s not easy, we don’t have a visa to the US. Maybe it makes sense for us to go to Antalya?”, I asked my son.
“In my opinion, this is not a stupid thought” – he responded and dialed the number of Turkish airlines.
“Good afternoon, please tell me the flights to Antalya in the coming days and the price of tickets.” – he asked.
“Oh, you called on time, you know that we now have special discounts on the flight to Tucson, I myself recently flew round trip for $ 500. And I’m just delighted with this trip!” – we heard the voice of the “operator” from the phone.
“We need a flight to Antalya, not Tucson. We do not have an American visa.”
“Oh, do you need a transatlantic flight?” – the operator asked …
Amazing! It was as if he didn’t hear us or didn’t want to understand, imposing on us the thought expressed in the creeping line of the alarm clock.
What does that mean? Was it a real Turkish Airlines operator? Or not?
We looked at each other with surprise and at that moment heard another alarm clock ringing that we also have not set.
I grabbed my phone and read a new note on the creeping line:
“You can stay in Istanbul longer, but do not walk in crowded places. You are not in Turkey, you are on your way to North America. You do not need to go to Antalya.”
Why? I don’t know, we didn’t understand. But we didn’t go.
Exactly one week has passed since that message and the clearly marked at the first ring of the alarm clock day and hour has come …
We walked our favorite route across Istiklal Street to the beautiful white bridge over the Golden Horn to admire the beautiful view while awaiting the “arrival” of our friends.
We stood on the bridge and headed back, as usual discussing our business, or rather not even our business, but those extraordinary events that we thought were happening to our friends and acquaintances.
And we were already on Istiklal Street, when all of a sudden my son says to me in a frightened way:
“Some strange guy has been walking behind us all the way for two hours and constantly takes pictures of us, don’t look at him and pretend that you haven’t noticed anything.”