On January 1st, after my parents spontaneously decided to move to New York, I spontaneously decided to move to Melbourne, Australia. I spent that last month in London seeing friends, taking photos, working a lot, and eating my way around town. I’d lived in London for over three years by that point and had tried hard to fall in love with the city, but it didn’t feel like the right place for me anymore. That said, there were many things I loved about it and I had many beautiful moments during my last few weeks there. These are some of them.
I took this photo on one of those big red double-decker buses you get everywhere in London. It was the end of January and I was leaving in a few weeks, moving to Australia on my own. I remember thinking about that right before I took this photo. You don’t get these kinds of trees in the southern hemisphere.
Even before I decided to move to Melbourne, I decided to move out of the house I was living in in London and go stay with my parents for a while. This was my room for two years and I loved it. I’d never felt so at home anywhere. But I went traveling for a while and when I got back it felt weird to return to that same life. I wanted a change. I seemed to want changes all the time, which was maybe a problem. Packing my stuff up was bittersweet. I knew it was the right decision, but it still made my chest ache.
This is me. The first picture I have of myself with bangs, or a fringe, as they call it in England. I got my hair cut a few weeks before leaving. It was one of several impulsive decisions I made at the beginning of the year. The whole month of January was about going for the things I wanted without fear or hesitation. If something turned out to be a mistake, that would be revealed in time and I would learn from it. I knew that, so I wasn’t scared anymore.
A week before I left, we had a big dinner party for my friend Alev’s birthday. I came home late from work, sad to spend my last Friday night in an office instead of with family. But it was a beautiful night from the second I stepped foot in the house. We laughed and ate and talked and later Alev and I took photos and stayed up late talking.
That same night I got really carried away taking photos of a small crystal ball that my mom has always had hanging by one of her lamps. Alev was sitting next to me and laughing at the absurdity of it, but I was so inspired. The photos didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, but this is one that I do like. An abstract kaleidoscopic thingy!
This is Alev, later that night, looking up at the red light on my ceiling. She is my oldest friend. We met on a beach in Turkey when we were five and our moms were friends when they were teens. We cuddle and shower together and bicker in Turkish because we’re both from there and like that we have that in common. She is my sister.
In early February I went to Macclesfield with Jeremy. We woke up early and had a big breakfast, and then his mom drove us into town so that we could hike up this hill. This was the view from the top. It’s one of those landscape photos that makes you realize how much more beautiful things are in real life. This picture doesn’t do it justice, the way it caught my breath, but I like that it reminds me of that whole day.
Sometimes I get obsessed with a certain food and eat it over and over again until I move on to something else. In February I fell in love with leeks. I made this dish almost every day: leeks with eggs and buttery bagels. I had it for breakfast this morning and last night for dinner.
This is Barbie. She has called herself that for years even though her real name is Isabelle. We became friends when we were 9 or 10 because we used to take the same bus to school every day and our parents were friends. Her mum is Turkish and her dad is German, just like mine. She is very real. She sees through things and is always honest with me. She also takes way too many selfies.
My dad loves to sleep. He is really, really good at it. I have seen him in this position more times than I can count. He is always the first to fade in our family.
Another one of my dad’s rituals, which I love. He has used the same mug for his tea for as long as I can remember. It’s been around since before I was born. He never drinks out of anything else and he always has his tea the same way: very strong, with a few drops of lemon juice. For a while I actually contemplated getting that flower tattooed on my arm because it reminded me so much of him.
This is the man himself: my dad! The bathrobe is another ancient relic that he’s had for decades now. This is one of his typical facial expressions. He is an amazing listener (until he gets argumentative) and this is him being pensive, listening to me say something. I think we were talking about photography. It was my last morning in London. Later that night I got on a plane to Melbourne. ♦