Scammed in Istanbul


As Ibn-e-Battuta once said, “Traveling leaves you speechless, then it turns you into a storyteller.” Yes, I believe I am no less than a story teller. With my immense traveling experience, I possess a great deal of knowledge, enough to fill countless blogs. As this is my first blog, let me start by telling about myself first. My name is Fahad Pirzada, and I am a fat, sexy guy with a charming personality, according to myself. My life wasn’t as amazing as it is now; my schooling was in an all boys’ school, as a result of which I was a shy mama’s boy. On top of that, I had an epileptic condition due to which I had to face so many restrictions – I couldn’t go out with my friends alone, couldn’t bunk the classes. Basically, my life was a piece of shit! However, after finishing my A level in Pakistan, my dad just did a great favour to his future generations by sending me to Canada for my further studies and this is where the all adventure started!

Traveling has always been my passion, my love, and my girlfriend, but my mother had never let me travel. I had traveled with my family before, but where is the fun in that? However, I had saved up some money, so I planned to have a trip to Turkey by myself. The tricky part was, however, disclosing this news to my parents. So, I called my mom and told her that I am going to Turkey. “Mother: with who?? Me: Alone. Mother: “DIMAG TOU KHARAB NAHI HAI TUMHARA! BILKUL NAHI” (Are you out of your mind, not at all)! I was cursing myself about why I even told her. I called my dad right after that and said that I had already bought the tickets and booked the hotels and my mother wasn’t allowing me to go, although I hadn’t booked anything. It was the happiest moment in my life when I heard my dad say, “BETA JAO! MAGAR AMMA KO NAHI BATANA! (Go but don’t tell your mother)” OMG, I straight away packed my bags, booked the tickets from Vancouver to Istanbul and I was ready to go!
I landed in Istanbul with no plans regarding what to do there I was traveling alone for the first time. Right after I got out of the airport, I met a person named Balut who was a tour guide. He offered to show me around Istanbul in 3 days and charged 300 Liras for it. The offer wasn’t that bad, so I accepted quickly. As a private tour guide, Balut had incredible knowledge of Istanbul. He showed me places that tourists would not usually know about. Tour guide knowledge aside, this guy also had a great knowledge of Bollywood. While giving touristic details he would always sing ‘Khaike paan bana rasswala’ in his Turkish accent, which was awful. 
At the end of the three day tour, we became good friends and he wanted me to go with him to a bar for drinks, which I agreed upon. We went to a very shady bar; he ordered a beer and I ordered an orange juice. After we were done having two drinks he went to toilet telling me that he would be back within five minutes. Those five minutes turned out to be almost an hour, but he never came back. I called him like ten times, but he didn’t answer. After waiting for so long I asked for the bill. As the bartender handed over me bill, the first thing came out of my mouth was “BETA LAG GAYE LASAN.” I realised that I was the target of a scam because the bill of those two drinks was $1000. Before reacting towards it I quietly sneaked my credit cards in my underwear, but I totally forgot that there were $500 resting in my other pocket. There was nothing I could have done except to call the cops because the bartender wasn’t ready to hear a word. As I pulled out my cell phone to call the police, the person standing beside me snatched my cell and dragged me to a room in the corner of the bar. As I entered the room, I saw a person sitting on a chair, who was no less than the size of the WWE Superstar Big Show. I still remember that he was wearing a black t-shirt which had “I am not kidding” written on it. This guy had a 9mm pistol tucked in his pants. Besides him, there was another guy with an average built who had a big knife in his hand. Yes, I was freaking out, in other words “PHATTI PARI THI.” The only thing that was running through my mind was that if my mother came to know about what had happened with me then she wouldn’t let me travel again. Anyways, I was given only two options by the guy – to either pay the bill or they wouldn’t let me leave that place alive. But they didn’t know that they were dealing with a Pakistani here; I kept fixating on the fact I don’t have that much money. When they searched me, they found $500 in one of my pockets, but they couldn’t find any credit card. However, after cursing and abusing me they let me go. I was warned never to come near that bar again, but honestly, after what happened I didn’t want to go back to Istanbul again.
Sitting tense in the hotel lobby I was trying to figure out what the fuck had just happened to me. I had a whirlpool of questions in my head. What should I do now? Should I tell my father about this? If I did, would he call me back? I needed to talk to someone about it. Right about then, the hotel manager came to me and asked if everything was okay.  I told him about what had happened with me, to which he said that it was very normal in Istanbul and that I should go to the police and report this incident. I acted accordingly and as a result the police raided that bar, arrested the people who were involved in it and got my money back. After everything had happened, the police asked me to leave Istanbul as soon as possible because the people they arrested were members of some gang and if they found me, they would kill me. Since it was a week’s trip, I had to pack my bags and leave for Ankara. The police provided me security for the next three days in Ankara, and they also escorted me back to the airport, which was nice of them. As my flight took off from Istanbul airport,I took a deep breath and heaved a sigh of relief that it had ended on a good note.
Going to Istanbul was my first and one of the worst traveling experiences I have ever had. However, this incident didn’t stop me from traveling. In fact, it boosted my confidence and four months I was ready for my trip to Costa Rica. My mother also found out that I was traveling alone, but this time she didn’t say anything because she knew ‘BACHA BARA HO GAYA HAI.’ I don’t know where I would be when everyone is reading my first blog, but right now I am in Scotland traveling from Edinburgh to Glasgow by train. The girl sitting beside me thinks that I am some next level blogger, so I think I need to give her some attention and conclude my post here. Till next time!

Cheers!

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