Before Christmas break, David and I visited our neighbor to drop off a plate of goodies. She was excited to hear Daniel would be visiting us in Turkey. This past weekend, she asked if she could meet him. One of our friends is taking language lessons from her and offered to translate.
We thought she coming to our house for çay (Turkish tea). Some friends told us it is traditional to serve two salty things and one sweet thing with çay. We stocked up on simit (bread with sesame seeds), a dry bread, and cookies at the grocery store. Our neighbor must have thought the plan was to meet at her place. We walked over to check if she was still coming. She invited us in, but we got things figured out and she and her husband came over shortly after. We had our çay pot on the stove and were surprised when she walked in with her pot. Little did she know these foreigners have learned how to make çay!
Our neighbor is always a teacher. She loves to help us as we stumble through our limited Turkish. She zeroed in on Daniel when she learned he was taking a language course. She flipped through his notebook from class and gave him a mini lesson on dishes.
We were so glad our friend was there to translate! There was a lot less charades this visit. However, we did use a lot of our Turkish to English dictionaries.
This was the first time we had Turks over to our apartment. It is customary for the woman of the house to serve the guests and refill glasses. And aside from a slight mishap of me dropping the lid of the çay pot, the visit went well. We all had our fill of çay and understood most of the conversation (thanks to our translator!).