Basically Charlie is a hit in Istanbul.
They say that travelling with children will open doors and here it seems to have opened more than doors, peoples hearts.
Let me say first that all our interactions with Turkish people so far have been men. Although there are many women that work at our hostel who clean and cook, they have no English and never seem to interact with tourists.
I am guessing even though many are western in their dress, modern and even secular in their lifestyle, old habits die hard, traditional values still linger on.
So our travel stories are all about the friendly men we meet and chat to…about every 50 paces usually!
Charlie is constantly stopped, petted, tickled, hugged, his hair ruffled, his cheek pinced, jokes mimed out, high fives, winks….So much so we have added this onto our tally we are keeping of our eperiences.
He takes it all in his stride and we enjoy the benefits of a discount here (“For Charlie only 20 lira…”) an extra bit of Lokum there, another door opening, another story shared.
When we walk around now, feeling like locals, everyone knows us, but they especially know Charlie and I feel as though our gift is bringing a smile to everyone he meets.
Charlie in the Hagia Sofia
The travel agent across the road just explained the obvious that Turkish people love children.
Turkish people just love people too.