It never fails. I often find myself in rather humorous situations that make excellent stories for my friends and while I usually reserve those laughable, what-in-the-world, incredulous, and—sometimes—outright crazy stories for them, this time I’ll share with you. :)The following "WHAT THE HECK" moment is brought to you by Travel Gone Wrong: Tales from the Travel Crypt.
The Turkish are generally nice and are renowned for their hospitality. They are, in many ways, excessively nice, ridiculously sweet, & beyond hospitable. They are givers who will give a thousand times over for in their culture, no matter your race or religion you are a guest of God, and so, they treat you as such through hospitable acts. If Acts of Service is your love language Turkey is the place for you! If they offer you something in the way of service of gifts, it’s in your best interest to accept as your refusal could cause offense. (Trust, I once refused tea & was swiftly snapped up, LOL!) Additionally, in their culture, men--real men--believe in paying for EVERYTHING as it is honorable to do so. After inquiring about what seemed to be excessive behavior, a Turkish friend informed me that even during guy time & guys' night out where guys bond, the men will nearly fight over who gets first dibs at paying for the group's expenses.
With an awareness of their hospitable culture, I thought nothing of it when my much older Airbnb host (hotel accommodation, not a private house) suggested treating me to dinner on what would be my last night in Goreme where other known guests would be. I thought nothing of the suggestion or anything of the actual dinner…….until my dinner plate was placed before me. Dot, dot, dot.
Photo Courtesy of: @_JMarieTravels
With a newfound love for sheep kebabs and craving that for my last meal in Turkey, I didn’t need much time to peruse the menu before making my request known. Since my Turkish vernacular didn’t extend beyond “Hello” or “Goodbye”, I communicated my dinner wishes to my host who then translated, in Turkish, to our host. True to desire, I ordered adnan (sheep) kebabs based on the menu's pic and then engaged in conversation for no more than 15 minutes before our waiter returned with my plate. When my plate was placed in front of me, my first thought was, "ARE THOSE HEARTS? WHERE THE HECK ARE THOSE HEARTS GOING?! That menu pic didn't include that!" Those hearted cucumbers slapped all the taste from my mouth. My host must have told him in Turkish to add the hearts that instantly sank mine, taking my taste buds with it.
Once it registered that I was on a one-sided date (you all, I was clad in dusty hiking gear with wild hair, by the way), I came up with all kinds of stories that would have made dinner uncomfortable at that 5 star Turkish restaurant--having 9 kids & drama back at home, 3 barking dogs, a bad bunion, etc.
Needless to say, dinner ended quickly :)
Argh. Lol. Unwanted admiration in Turkey.