Only a few days ago I had no idea what experiences I have to expect at the beginning of November. My life was flowing in the usual routine: home, work, family....
The invitation to travel to Kuwait came unexpectedly. On the one hand, I needed some diversity, but on the other, flying by plane was always frightening, especially in view of the recent events ... Later I realized that on the day I flew there were two plane crashes....
The plane ticket was Bucharest - Istanbul, and then Istanbul - Kuwait. The difference between the two flights was about an hour and a half, enough for a successful connection from one flight to another.
Problems started at the airport in Bucharest. The flight has been delayed for almost 30 minutes. When I got onto the plane, it turned out that my place was on the last line, the last seat next to the window. Everything seemed to have been predetermined from the beginning.
When I landed in Istanbul, I needed at least 20 minutes to get out of the plane, and that was the end. The flights to Kuwait were closed for me. Panic is a normal condition at this time. Thankfully, my knowledge of English was enough to understand that as the delay is not my fault, Turkish Airlines would provide me with a hotel and meals until the next flight, which would be the next day in the evening. The idea of staying in Istanbul was frightening because I did not know anyone here and I did not have any Turkish lira.
The road to the hotel was boring and long until the great Constantinople church / St. Constantine's mosque of Hagia Sophia was seen ...my first glance at her was special, magical. I felt there was a lot to tell me, but the time was yet to come. It was not a feeling of something previously seen. Rather, a place I should have seen to get my message. I was sent to a meeting with someone I did not know about.
The Grand Washington hotel was far from what his name meant, but it was clean and cozy inside. I was quick to feel the touch of the pillow, tired of the tension in the last hours.
The next day, at 5.25 am the muezzin of the neighboring mosque woke up me inviting for the first morning prayer. I heard clearly the words of the Imam, and echoes of the voices of the other imams from the mosques around. It was nice as a feeling, but too early for me :)
After breakfast I decided I had to go out. The day would be too long if I had to stay only in the hotel.
I decided to try to withdraw money from an ATM without thinking that there will not be any information about the course in Euro or BGN. When I saw it offered to withdraw different amounts in Turkish lira, I realized I was still somewhere in the clouds :)
Listening to my inner voice, I decided to withdraw fifty lira and when I turned to see what direction to take, the church-mosque shone again in all its light, as if to say to me, "Good morning, I waited for you a long time.... "
I walked through the entrance, to the left, where there are stone graves.
Suddenly a wave of sorrow and tears splashed in my face. Unexpectedly for myself, I laughed with grief and sadness inside, not knowing why this is happening to me. I stood on a tombstone, and somewhere beneath it, like a 14-16 year old child, sent me signals... It was strange, I was not prepared for such a meeting for such a "welcome" in the morning. These emotions were not wanted, they were not expected ... even the meeting with "HER" was too strange ...
My walk inside the temple was not long, I felt empty, I felt nothing...neither admiration, nor joy, nor any other emotion. My heart was left out there with the stone graves.
In the afternoon as I was sitting with my laptop, suddenly I felt a strong desire to eat something sweet, very sweet. I clutched hurriedly and jumped up.
From the hotel, different streets led in different directions. I had forgotten where I had seen a pastry shop in the morning, so I went blind. Sellers from the shops offered me their goods in Russian, obviously they were treating my "Slavic" streak. In the first street there was no patisserie, and I went back to the hotel. I did not want to go too far because I was afraid of losing myself in the crowd. Contrary to my expectations, almost nobody knew English here....
I went down another street and found nothing else. I went back to the hotel and chose another direction, and again, and again, again... I found the place on the fourth time, a luxury confectionery with large showcases with a variety of delicacies. I did not know which Kahraman's Baklava :) but I decided to leave on my intuition. I ordered two baklava and milk with rice, which was covered with caramel cream. And when I sat down at the table next to the window, the church-mosque was again in all its splendor. I stood up ... Did SHE call me here or was it an accident?
And while I was contemplating looking at the passing cars and buses, SHE appeared, the woman with a veil on her head and a sheer dress in pink with a bluish hue.
"I am Vespasian's daughter - the Emperor! When we were here all this didn`t exist, it was a small temple-a chapel, which my father made as a gratitude to God for the child."
"What child? And what is your name?" - I wanted to ask
A gentle smile and silence... The wind seemed to be lightly waving the etheric veils on her. Silence and nothing more to hear, not to feel, not to understand ...
She was standing by the church, and I could see her like she is standing beside me. It was strange...as if she had waited for me. She knew I'd see her and wanted to remind me about herself. For some reason she was left here. Was it because of the child?
* Emperor Vespasian was born on November 17th....."
According to a legend, when he learns of his death, Christ is crying at this place where today the grapes grow from which the world-famous Lacrima Christi wine is produced.
9.11.2010 by Veneta Stoianova (Nadia)