On my first few days in Istanbul, Efendi Travel takes me on a tour that includes a cruise on the beautiful Bosphorus. It is a crisp March morning. We seat ourselves on the outside deck. The seagulls are waiting for the boat to take off as if they know the departure time. They are getting ready for their meal. The canopy above us provides us a nice cover from the bright spring sun. I hear tapping sounds on the shade. I look up and see one of those rare photo ops. Several seagulls are walking on the canvas. Their webbed feet are half transparent letting the sun seep through. Later, I show my friends the pictures I took from below the canvas, and none of them could identify what the object is in the picture.
The engines start and we slowly take off. The seagulls start screaming with excitement. I watch the seagulls chasing the ferry so that they can catch whatever the water disturbance bring to the surface. They also receive morsels of stale bread and simit from their fellow travelers. I keep watching how they catch the tiny pieces of bread in the air. They are loud. They are sometimes laughing with us and sometimes laughing at us depending on our mood.
“Some of them flying at the same speed as the ferry and they look like they are hanging in air.” That is my friend Aysun says later. I spend many minutes trying to catch that moment. But, no photo will do the justice. You need to be here to see it yourselves.
They are lucky. There is plenty of fish in the water and there are plenty of people eager to feed them. They have the best birds eye view of Istanbul. Of course, they can scream and laugh whenever they want. No one can “sshh” them. For us, we feel that they are our constant entertainment and stars of our photos and videos.