Goodbye, Halkalı!

I’d like to tell both of my readers that today is the happiest day of my life so far this week. I got 2 pieces of great news:

  1. After 2 months, we FINALLY have Internet at home. No more walking 25 minutes one way to spend several hours at a Starbucks with a bad connection.
  2. WE’RE MOVING OUT OFF HELL-KALI!!!! Yes, that’s correct. Tim’s school has finally, yet puzzlingly, decided to move him to a new location, and I’m coming with him. I have received a commutation of my exile to the nether regions of Istanbul. My 1 to 2 hour trips to the city center by bus will be forever behind me (unless the traffic gods have anything to say about that). Just a couple more weeks to stay here and my life will improve exponentially.

Where am I going THIS time? Şirinevler. This will be the 8th place I’ve lived in Istanbul in just 3 years. What I would once consider far far away from the interesting parts of Istanbul is now looking like a paradise. Well, not exactly. While Halkalı is devoid of any culture and severely lacks entertainment, there is at least some life in Şirinevler. I will be able to find restaurants, shops, and groceries just around the corner from my apartment, and many are open 24 hours.

Şirinevler, Istanbul, Turkey


There isn’t much else to be excited about in this part of town, other than the fact that I will only be a 5 minute walk to major transportation lines (and the ever-important 24 hour Metrobüs line) that can cut my commute to places I need to be – at least in Europe – to about 30 minutes. Asia will still be a hike. I will also be just 3 metro stops from the airport. Unfortunately it is the wrong airport. I usually use Sabiha Gökçen Airport, which is near the outskirts of Istanbul on the Asian side. Oops.

What’s interesting is that in 1935, there were only 500 people living in the entire district of Bahçelievler, which encompasses Şirinevler. Now, there are nearly 600,000. The population has doubled in just over 25 years – there were just half that amount of people in 1985. The growth in this city has been amazingly disgusting.

On the map, it might not look like an improvement, but the transportation options in Şirinevler are light years ahead of Halkalı. From Halkalı to Şirinevler by bus it is at least 30 minutes.

Give me a month. I’ll probably hate it there, too.

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