I had just arrived in Cihangir with some friends after a massive riot roared through the streets of Taksim on Tuesday. ATMs were smashed, bank windows shot up and shattered, Molotov cocktails hurled— all in protest of the meeting between the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in our fair city.
Glass crunched under our feet as we made our way to the restaurant we planned to have dinner at, and we soon joined our fellow pedestrians in blinking, sneezing and coughing. I’ve never had the pleasure of being teargassed or of being in the presence of tear gas— it’s awful stuff. It seems to linger in the air for quite a long time; we hadn’t witnessed any of the gassing or violence, but our throats still burned.
As we sat down at our table, I noticed this man enjoying a plate of Pad-Thai and a glass of white wine. He was such a character, I immediately whipped out my pen and sketchbook, and decided to order the Pad-Thai.