Istanbul, City of the World’s Desire


Planning trips to coincide with the conclusion of various stages of cancer treatment became a strategy to cope with the seemingly interminable process of being treated for cancer. While healing from one surgery and waiting for the next, I would look at maps and plan itineraries for all the places that ever lived in my imagination.

On Monday, I would be floating down the Nile. By Wednesday, I’d be watching the sunrise from a tropic isle. On Friday, I’d be hunting for souvenirs from the marketplace in old Algiers… Mostly, I shuffled around the house in slippers, stunned and bewildered.

All the while, there was a soft whirring in the back of my brain. Istanbul, the City of the World’s Desire, was calling me.


So, after finishing radiation treatment, I bought a ticket to Istanbul. I packed a suitcase and dragged my battered little body to one of the most…

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