Tur-ISTA Travel Agency

Seat61 recommended this agency, and with good reason. Everyone in this place was extra-friendly, funny, and fluent in at least 3 languages. They stored my bag for the day, and helpfully took guesses at what the train to Tehran would be like (they sell tickets, but have never travelled on it). They helped me work out where to buy a watch, get a key cut, and told me about the free WiFi. And, as I parted, engaged in a bit of banter about the weirdness of the rainbow mask perhaps being an indication I was from the ‘Black Sea Side’ of Turkey – which apparently is where all the strangers in Turkey come from.

And, there was also that tone that seems to infect many people working in tourism, me included when I was an eco-tours guide in Whistler, Canada. What I am referring to is that as the engagement with people draws to an end, and the initial spark of interest, enthusiasm and care for these new friends fades for the thousandth time, you just run out of things to say and hit the limits of what level of emotional energy you can share. but the Tur-ISTA guys and girls certainly weren’t cynical, and we all left each other laughing, and that’s probably what matters.


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