Friday, October 7, 2011

Turkish Hospitality 2

I had a further Turkish Hospitality experience on Thursday 6 October. Late afternoon while walking from Taksim Square to the Romance Hotel, I came across a shop I had seen when I first arrived in the vibrant city of Istanbul. This shop intrigued me as it is a corner shop with a lot of window real estate. It is in a prime position located on the corner of a busy street that is frequented by locals and tourists alike. The windows displayed trays of various baklava in different shapes, sizes and colours. Other treats on display were Turkish Delight, beautifully decorated cakes, and clear rectangular glass bowls filled with various jelly like substances decorated with almond slivers, coconut and tiny currants. I found it a little difficult to photograph at the side street window as a stream of people kept milling past and I found myself trying to move out of the way and take my photos whenever there was a break. Two men came and stood beside me looking at the treats so I stopped photographing and spoke with them. I asked if they were Turkish and they said yes. One of the men asked if I knew what one of the bowled deserts was, when I said no, he told me it was called zerde. He explained that it was a favourite desert for weddings and special birthdays and invited me to join him and his friend for a desert. I quickly accepted. There was a small table free at the back of the shop with two chairs. I was invited to sit on one of the chairs and a third chair was found. About this time I asked the gentlemen their names and Mustafa introduced himself and his friend Nezihi. I decided that I would have the same desert as Mustafa, zerde and Nezihi chose a chocolate desert. Mustafa told me that Nezihi was from the university. Nezihi explained that he was a retired professor and said that he is a historian working on the history of the Ottoman Empire. I asked if I could take Mustafa and Nezihi's photo and they agreed. Mustafa wrote their names and his email address on a napkin. The men were in a hurry to get home, so our interlude was a short but pleasant one. Mustafa bought a couple of small treats to take with him and paid for our deserts. They bade me farewell and I promised to email their photo, which I did the following morning. I think myself fortunate to have had experiences of Turkish Hospitality and I found this occured when I was on my own, so there is something to be said for travelling alone.



  1. Turkish hospitality - yes indeed - I think its the best I've experienced anywhere in the world. Well done emailing them the pics Helena.

  2. Helena you are making me hungry and thirsty for more Turkey. Weren't they great?

  3. Sweet, sweet Turkey! Helena, you captured it. Tasting it still, mmm