Well, perhaps before you come away with me, (does anyone ever start singing when the read the title of my blog?), you should know that I am home.
And I don’t think I’ve ever fully appreciated the softness of my bed. It was…dare I say, simply harika.
Sorry. Couldn’t resist. I do wish I knew a Turkish person here so that I could say my words more often. Let me know if anyone can introduce me.
So. As I was saying. The best, most enjoyable, and easiest way for you to come away with me is to simply pick up a book. And as its summer, I’m sure some of you have a teense bit more time to say, lounge by a pool, and you’re looking for a good book to read. So allow me to recommend one for you: The Moon Spinners by Mary Stewart. Or really, any book by Mary Stewart. She was born in England, her books were published from the 1950s to the 1970s, and they always take place in the most delightful foreign countries.
The Moon Spinners takes place in Greece. And Greece is pretty darn close to Turkey. So pretty much for the duration of my trip, I pretended I was a heroine in a Mary Stewart novel. Surprisingly enough, this was not a difficult task. …
Allow me to show you. And hopefully some of you Mary Stewart fans will know what I’m talking about.
Day 1. We’re walking around in Istanbul. Little shops everywhere. Alleys twisting here and there. Open air markets.Cafes. Dotting every corner. And this is the true Mary Stewart moment. Sitting outside the cafes were a bunch of old men, sipping their tea and, as Sulcuk said, solving all of Turkey’s problems.
We went in one of these cafes on day one when we could hardly pronounce ‘thank you’ and the owners were about in the same boat as us in the English department. They led us upstairs, turning on the lights as we went and we sank into some lovely arm chairs overlooking the cafe and the street below.
Our cokes and coffees were served in true Turkish time (we spent much time enjoying the cafe) and as everyone was sipping the last of their drinks, Wes and Davey decided to enjoy a game of chess.
And it was like magic. I don’t think they had each moved once when our waiter appeared with his hands on the shoulders of a boy. After about four minutes of conversation between the waiter and the five of us, Davey finally figured out that the boy wanted to play chess.
And he was good at chess. It was a very fast paced game (I agonize over every move in chess) and he’d sit and study the board all the while nibbling on his lip while his older brother fairly beamed with pride.
And he won. His eyes shone when Wesley flicked his king over. The whole scene was adorable. Only to be made more charming when two girls came up to join us on the second floor. They likewise seemed to find the chess game highly entertaining and we had a time communicating with them. We finally had the little boy be our interpreter and that brought gales of laughter from the girls. We eventually asked them how to say good bye and they giggled all the more and said, ‘bye bye.’
Speaking of Turkish girls, the last day we were there we were touring around Istanbul and a girl walks up to me with this cheery smile on her face. She greets me then says, ‘please repeat after me,’ says a phrase in Turkish then holds up a camera. I looked at her a bit dubiously but because I couldn’t resist talking in Turkish and her smile was so friendly, I repeated her.
I have no idea what I said, while being videotaped, in Turkish. I’m not sure I want to know. But I kinda want to know. I saw her again a couple hours later and a few blocks away. We cheerily waved at each other. And then as I was touring the Basilica Cistern she popped up behind me and said, ‘Hi!’ I asked her what I had said in Turkish and she just got a blank look on her face and said, ‘no understand.’
I guess it’ll be the mystery of the trip.
Oh, but back to the Moon Spinners. More moments where I felt as though I had stepped out of a novel: stepping out of the bus to fields of flowers.
And I know I’ve already mentioned this, but the friendliness of all the locals was novelesque.
They were a hoot to be with.
And I believe that’ll be all the adventures for now.
Hope to be back soon.