About Angie Jo

In the midst of skirting protests in Taksim Square and eating plenty of pide, Angie befriended a wizard on the way to Çanakkale, spent time in quiet reflection at the soldiers’ graves in Gallipoli, and watched some slicked-down Turkish men compete at Edirne’s Oil Wrestling Festival.
5 07, 2015
  • Turkish Coffee Let's Go

The Heartwarming Hospitality of Turks

How to make friends in Istanbul who will water you with tea. I'm a tough kid, but I'm also a tiny Asian girl traveling alone for the first time. So before arriving at the airport and having a short and salty, "Wah-I'm-all-alone-and-my-boyfriend's-jacket-will-stop-smelling-like-him-in-two-days-I-don't-know-how-to-say-toilet-in-Turkish-What-if-underneath-my-college-coolness-I'm-actually-just-a-middle-aged-Korean-fanny-packed-visored-squabbly-tourist-lady-when-I-go-abroad-What-if-a-minaret-falls-on-top-of-me-and-crushes-me-What-if-I'm-as-allergic-to-Turkey" cry, I prepared for several imaginative "worst case scenarios." What I didn't prepare for was the absolutely heartwarming, disarming generosity and hospitality of Turkish people. Just smiling, looking eager, and answering [...]

26 06, 2015
  • Istanbul Fener Let's Go

The Ever-Elusive “Local” Experience in Istanbul

Or, Things That Happen in Fener/Balat. You know you're having a local experience: You're at a fork in the road, except the fork in the road has so many prongs it might as well be the Witch King of Angmar's mace. Your own city-official map has resorted to a blank line, literally a white squiggle, for the few hundred meters ahead of you. You look up from your unintelligible map into a mouthful [...]

18 06, 2013
  • Istanbul Turkey

For the Constipated in Constantinople

You're gonna need Galata laxatives. How do I put this delicately? Because Let's Go is always delicate. You've been traveling, sitting on planes, trains, buses, faces (living up the hostel life, you), and your internal plumbing is fed up with living with an unstable little freak. Your innards have been cold shouldering you, sleeping out on the sofa and leaving you alone in your hostel bed. What do I mean? You haven't taken [...]

18 06, 2013
  • Istanbul Mosque Let's Go

Steamy, Naked Bathhouse Beatings

The strange sexual beauty of Istanbul's hamams. If you were raised in a culture that didn't wholeheartedly endorse a naked man or woman (depending on your sex) pounding your body with their beefy hands, rubbing down every inch of you with a mitten of thorns, and scraping off at least a millimeter of dead skin off your body on a regular basis--I'd say you've missed out one of life's great pleasures. A Turkish [...]

12 06, 2013
  • Turkish Pide Let's Go

A Turkish Food Post That Isn’t Porny

How I found the only bad food in Turkey. I write this with absolute rage clawing in my nauseous belly! In a land where you can have a fresh-caught fish, fried and spritzed with lemon juice and nestled in a soft baguette with tomatoes and crispy lettuce for THREE LIRA ($1.50), or half your own weight in cherries pregnant with juice for SIX LIRA ($3), or the biggest Turkish version of a [...]

12 06, 2013
  • Istanbul Wizard Assos

What It’s Like to Meet a Wizard

The Magician of Assos. I was bumping along in a bus past rolling yellow fields and trees making bathtubs worth of olive oil, imagining I was Alexander the Great on my way to conquer Assos, an ancient little Greek city perched on the southwesternmost Aegean coast of Turkey. Aristotle lived and married and established a school in Assos, St. Paul visited Assos, and now I was visiting Assos. There was a tall, spectacled [...]

1 06, 2013
  • Dolmus Istanbul Aqueduct

Down And Dirty: The Dolmus

On Istanbul's ultimate budget transportation. Taxi drivers everywhere seem to be kind of fun and impressive—they know everything about their city, tell the kookiest stories, and successfully manage to rip you off for every ride. Drivers in Turkey do the first two things but don't cheat you out of your lira and could probably juggle for Cirque de Soleil with the skills they pick up driving their yellow dolmușes. Let me backtrack: A [...]

1 06, 2013
  • Taksim Square Riots

Sleeping Through Riots

Taksim Square, 2013. It's always a little weird to find yourself in the middle of history being made. Or rather, completely knocked out and dead asleep through history being made. Last week—while I was trotting through sleepy little seaside villages on the Asian side of Istanbul, having Kanlıca yogurt with powdered sugar, and photographing the sunset—was the start of what is becoming the fieriest protest battles in Istanbul this generation has ever seen. [...]

29 05, 2013
  • Hostel Travel Guide Let's Go

What Not to Do in a Hostel

Travel writing and the budget life. The job of a Let's Go travel writer: getting paid to stomp all over a city for two months alone, exploring every palace and public washroom, drawing more people to local gems and attractions, then sharing all the juicy stories with their equally dreamy, intrepid, curious readers. Sounds like a win-win for everyone involved, right? Not so for hostels! Writers are a hostel's worst client--a claim I [...]

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