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Experiencing Turkish hospitali-tea

My friends and I were browsing a shop in downtown Kusadasi and after a about an hour, I got bored. Spotting a bench outside the shop, I sat down next to a man who was stroking a sleeping cat. With my elbow on the back support of the bench, I leaned my head on my fist and shut my eyes while waiting for my friends. It’s been a busy week partying every night and preparing for my friend’s wedding. I wasn’t in the mood for spending more money. I badly needed a rest and so did my purse.

“Are you working for them?” The man started to strike a conversation while his hand was resting on the lying cat as if it was his pet. He looked smart in his sky blue long-sleeved shirt tucked in black trousers. “No, they are my friends” I replied without opening my eyes.

Sensing my lack of vivacity, he offered a coffee which I kindly refused. Insisting his hospitality, he convinced me to have a Turkish tea which he assured would perk me up without the stimulating effect of caffeine. I reckoned he was not going to let me sit in peace so I gave in. He quickly got up and went inside the jewelry shop next to where my friends were browsing. No wonder he dressed up smartly. Few minutes later, he came back with the tea in a glass shaped like an hourglass with a small metal saucer and two cubes of sweeteners.

I just bought a set of those glasses with the same shape the day before. I didn’t realise they were used for teas.

Not long after he had sat down, a tourist went inside his shop so he had to go back in. I gave the tea glass an analytical gaze wondering why Turkish serve their teas in those elegant glasses. I cupped my fingers around the brim and it sat firmly in my hand.

Clever idea! The glass didn’t just look elegant, it was also easy to handle. They’re not fiddly like teacups and they’re space savers.

When the man came back he asked me where I came from. “Philippines”, I replied. He said his cousin was married to a Filipina. He showed me her Facebook photos and spoke fondly of her. I was enjoying my nice cup of tea. A young man came walking around giving Turkish Delight to anyone who wanted it.

It was a nice and warm day. Just like the tea, the simple hospitality I had just received made me feel nice and warm.

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