Friday, February 17, 2012

cold Turkey?

It is even cold in Turkey

I love Turkey.  
I love that all these different countries are so close together.
I love the moment after you arrive somewhere when you realize you are someplace totally new and things are different.  

My first moment was here at a restaurant, fresh off the plane:

In Frantasyland there are a lot of rules around the table - when you eat, who gets served first, when you can actually get your waiter to come back to your table to order your entrée, plat, fromage/dessert. Dinner takes a long time.
Here, we sat down and 9 plates of different food were instantly laid out in front of us, family style.  And there were at least 4 people moving around our table - pouring water, serving melted cheese on bread and meatballs, taking our meat order.  
Meat order?  Yes, because everyone needs 9 different dishes + meat + dessert.

And then the dramatic change in skyline.  From 10-story buildings(i.e. tall) and catholic cathedrals every 100 feet to a colorful patchwork of 5-story buildings, mosques and minarets.  

The minarets look like lost castle parts.  Don't you think?

And then the call to prayer
5 times a day.
 I thought, it would kill me to live next to a mosque - that noise 5 times EVERY DAY
and then I had to change the idea of noise
I'm not all that romantic about god
but I thought, for them, god sings 5 times a day to come and chat
It echoes softly off all the concrete buildings.  
Ok it was romantic on Saturday morning  when we were walking to the store in the sun 
to get eggs for a lazy breakfast. 

I wish I had a clip of it
My truck-stop, gift-buying sister took one when we first visited Turkey 6 years ago.  

One last big moment that couldn't stop repeating itself - people are nice.  
Some people want to sell you things, but most people don't.  Our last night we got stuck on the wrong side after the last boat to the other side had left (Turkey has 2 sides - 1 is attached to Europe, the other is attached to Asia).  This young guy not only walked us back to help us find out about other boats, but then walked us to the metro and was ready to walk us to the boat. 
And then the older businessman that invited* us for coffee after he heard b & I speaking French on the boat, and then tour guided us for the next 2 hours.

*to invite (and to offer) mean to pay for the other person in French (and my stupid english)

I like Turkey.  Even cold Turkey.  

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