Nancy Knudsen never meant to go to Istanbul.
Maybe she might have included it as part of a holiday along with other dazzling European cities such as Venice, Paris or Salzburg. But the idea of actually living in a Muslim country as an ordinary citizen rather than tourist or expat corporate executive, would never have occurred to her.
Knudsen’s story is vivid, lively and sometimes hilarious, full of insights into things she wished she’d known before she arrived in an all-black apartment above a sports field, with not a word of Turkish. She found almost nothing in guidebooks or histories to help her understand what seemed at first an inexplicable culture.
In the course of her tale, she sets out to decipher many of the intricacies of Turkey and its lifestyle, and of Istanbul in particular. Both new and experienced visitors will find her observations invaluable and her personal love affair with this ancient yet totally modern city and its culture may well act as a springboard for others.