A few days ago, Red and I returned from our vacation to Turkey. We spent ten days driving around ancient ruins and huge cities while struggling with the language barrier and trying not to get lost since none of the street signs made any sense to us. We ate exotic foods, drove through mountains, overlooked the Aegean Sea, walked the streets of the ancient city of Troy and got to tour many of the places from the part of the world that is considered to be the cradle of civilization. It was a great vacation despite the dozens of people who tried to talk us out of going to this "dangerous" part of the world.
Throughout this fascinating journey, I was repeatedly amazed at how friendly the people there were. They went above and beyond to make sure that we were happy and having a good time. One day, Red and I were trying to cross a busy intersection in downtown Izmir and were waiting on the median for several buses to cross. Before the last one crossed, a man approached to show us a better way. Where we were trying to cross would have left us in the street too long because of a pedestrian gate. He then walked with us for the next 15 blocks, telling us how much he appreciated seeing Americans in his city.
For me personally, I probably wouldn't have traveled there with the recent warnings if we hadn't already been planning this trip for the last year, but there was no way I was going to cancel after all the effort we had put into this trip. And I am so glad we didn't. We met so many wonderful, smiling people. One today, two kids (about 15 and 12) were really excited to get to talk to Americans. It felt like they were practicing their English, but it was hard to talk because their smiles were so big.
I wasn't really sure that I wanted the coins, but he was very aware of the fact that he had my interest. He held up one coin and told me what I could sell it for in the States. Red spoke up to ask if he had a Certificate of Authenticity.
"We can't sell it without one."
"Who told you that."
He shot her a dirty look and then started pulling out business cards of people who buy from him in the States. By now, I had decided that I wasn't interested and started to walk away. He yelled, "WAIT! STOP!"
I started to laugh, but he persisted.
"When you only have one wife, she will kill you. You don't need her. Buy this coin and get a new one. More wives is easier."
We then excused ourselves from his persistence and tried to stop laughing. We spent the next few hours touring the Citadel and Basilica. However, he was waiting for us when we came back out.
"I waited for you like you asked."
Red snapped at him, "We didn't ask you to wait."
I just kept walking, but Red decided she still wanted to fight about the legitimacy of having a Certificate of Authenticity. Since I was no longer part of this conversation, I stood at the end of the walkway and yelled to her, "Just keep walking."
Once she successfully excused herself, he called out "Would you like to buy some rugs?"
Over her shoulder, she dismissed him by saying "We bought rugs yesterday."
He retorted, "Mine are better. They can fly."