Hospitality of Strangers

Everywhere in Turkey, we received lots of smiles and in addition insistence to have tea and even food.  One such instance happened in Selcuk.  We had come out from praying at Isha Bey Mosque and were looking for a library, had rung the bell and gotten no answer.  I walked across to a shop and asked if they knew.  The man called but also received no answer himself, so instead asked us to come inside.

The shop owners are a wife/husband couple and they make tiny statues of the Virgin Mary out of a mold, which they have been selling to the local shops for 13 years. 

As we were walking in, I noticed his wife had made a delicious looking salad and lunch of yogurt, rice, and aubergine and wondered if she had caught me looking.  She probably had because hardly a second had gone by when he insisted we sit down for lunch and later his daughter joined us as well.  His daughter is studying to be a lawyers and hopes to complete the dreams of her father, who never finished his degree.

 We tried saying no a few times but they wouldn't have it.  After lunch, he extended the offer and asked us to come back for tea in the afternoon, while he went back to work grinding pieces of plasters for the molding.

When we returned, this time with a box of Turkish delight, another person had come by and was helping with the statue making process.  We asked if we could help and joined in and being short on hand, were extended an offer to help out if we wanted.  Thought about it but have more to find in Turkey.....

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