Friday, May 19, 2006

Walking In The Dark

They tell you that "location" is everything. I have never been one to embrace the life of the "salesman," (I had a bad experience once and don't want to talk about it now). But, if you are in the business of trading goods...then the old phrase fits. Location is everything.
This posting has nothing to do with commerce and everything to do with geography. The last few days we have been overwhelmed with all the things that go along with changing cultures, language, and home.
Let me taxi around this for a moment: A few years ago we lived in a major European City. After the honeymoon stage and the romance of travel wore off, we experienced what every 3rd culture family will tell you about...culture shock. When it hits, you want to hole up and watch Bob Hope and Bing Crosby and shut this "new world" out.
However, we have found the exact opposite in Istanbul. When we miss home, get frustrated about our language struggles and hit the wall physically or emotionally...we find therapy in getting out and spending time with the Turks.
These people are amazing. I know we will eventually have bad experiences and run into people that are unkind. But to date, five weeks into being "Istanbullus", we have yet to find a Turk who isn't quick to laugh and smile.
The last few evenings we have been up and out late, walking the streets at midnight. Tonight as I write this, we have just returned from another stroll. The streets are full of families quietly walking along, fathers smoking, mothers holding the hands of their children, and young people sitting on the wall talking and laughing. The call to prayer rang out around 10:15pm and the courtyard of the Mosque was full of men and boys coming to pray.
The Durum shop was rolling sandwiches and the tea shops were filled with couples drinking and smoking. Everywhere we went we found smiles and laughter.
As I walk down the street each day vendors yell to me and laugh at my bad Turkish. They are quick to help and easy to love. Yesterday one of my friends walked out of his shop...he had learned a phrase just for me: "How can I take your money today"?
It makes me wonder what other peoples we have missed in our wanderings? Our life among the Turks is a rich one. We would have missed so much if we had not met these people. I understand the phrase now: Location, location, our case, its a good one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How wonderful to be a wanderer in a country that has such happy and friendly people!

Thank you for having a blog about your adventures. It is very interesting!


Living, Traveling, and Wandering on the Far Side of the World

Living, Traveling, and Wandering on the Far Side of the World