The temperature was a bracing 23 degrees F with high winds, but business was as usual in Istanbul's Grand Bazaar. Seated in an alley outside the Varol Çay Ocagi, a tea kitchen, I talked with Sefa Ulusan, one of the men who serve çay to the merchants and their customers on the north end of the maze of shops.
I realized I'd never explored my hometown the way I'd explored Istanbul. I'd never given it the chances I'd gave to Istanbul. Though I greatly admire it, I'd never been open to its possibilities. Every magnificent spot in Istanbul reminded me of something about Cairo. So this is where I'm going next.