Monday, January 4, 2010

in which I visit Turkish people

Among my girlfriend's vast and twisty travels, she spent at least a summer teaching English in Turkey, so she has Turkish friends and lots of stories about Turkish people. Her friend Cem (pronounced somewhere between "Jem" and "Chem") ultimately moved near the dojo, and since his mother is staying with him for three months (I think they're sorting out some of their family experience of the past few years), Anna and J and I went to visit them today.

After a few minutes, Cem informed us that we'd be eating. We were surprised, it being a bit before 4 P.M., but Cem's mom doesn't speak English and it was clear we were involved in a Turkish hospitality thing, so we sat down in the living room with our plates of amazing tasty homemade fancy Turkish guest food, and tiny little tea glasses. I don't know the names for the things I ate: a zucchini fritter, something savory made of "phyllo dough, only thinner", a coconut cookie, a sesame cookie, and a piece of some kind of cake soaked in sugar/honey syrup. All profoundly bad for me, but who knows when another Turkish mother will feed a full spread of stuff.

Actually, Cem's mother might: the hospitality remained not-quite-fulfilled, because we couldn't stay for the main course(!) and coffee. And this was Turkish custom moderated by an Americanized guy my age; I can't imagine how different--how insistent--it must be in Turkey itself.

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