From The Travel Editor . . .

The Point Hotel, Taksim Square, Istanbul

Well, this morning we checked out of our lovely hotel, The Sultanhan, in Old Town. We were sorry to go as it was feeling like home – comfortable, familiar and friendly. But we had to move on to the Point Hotel where room had been reserved for us on the Olivia pre-trip tour. This hotel was touted as a fancy pants place with all kinds of amenities. Check in was easy, though when I asked if the third floor might be noisy, the reception lady said no and that it was a very nice room. Really?

It’s a small crowded room with twin beds, not one bed as requested. The Internet keyboard is missing from the pretentious faux moderne plastic TV tower, the remote feels like a thousand Arabian fingers have touched it, one fluorescent light “square” flickers constantly (an attempt to bring on a stroke in the occupants?). There is a “pillow menu” to ensure our comfort, but the beds are hard little hostile slabs that recall the cheap Danish modern trend of the fifties.

Hot and damp from a day of Ayah Sofia and Grand Bazaar trekking, a shower sounded wonderful. Bathroom amenities? 4 bottles of shower gel and 2 body lotions. Good thing the Sultanhan had given us plenty of shampoo, as we had one tucked away in the dopp kit. At least I was clean and so we tried to suck it up and read for awhile.

At 10 pm we woke up, sore from the tiny prison pallets, hungry (but not cranky!). Room service menu? Nasty sounding attempts at unimaginative American burgers, Danish hors d’oeuvres, and dishes that you just KNOW are going to be oh so wrong when rendered. Finally, the Spa brochure offered a “masage” with only one “s” and that was clearly a sign. And the noise? It’s now 12:20pm and there has been nightclub wailing and bad music wafting through the closed window for two hours.

There is a lovely tradition in this part of the world to give you an ” evil eye” to ward off evil, or as the small card in our room said, ” to attract the negative energy and supply you with positive energy.” Obviously this blue eye had attracted all the negative energy in the hotel and deposited it in our room!

Now it’s getting spooky. I copied this entry from word and went to paste it into the blog, only to be ” told” I had no more Internet connection. If I don’t make it home . . .

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About Stein Ink

Gertrude Stein's cousin. Writer, Reader, Knitter. STARR Restaurant Reporter and Virtual Travel Editor for the Tri-City Voice, serving communities East of the Bay (as in San Francisco Bay Area). Married with one wife, one small dog, and an irritable cat. Raised on the East Coast, where they have an "edge" not found out here in California. Two grown children: good men with families.
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