Friday, June 20, 2008

California pride

There's a lovely, if ridiculously expensive, little wine store up the street in Istanbul's yabancı köy (or "foreigner villager," as my friends have aptly dubbed Cihangir) that actually stocks such exotic delights as Brooklyn Lager and Ravenswood wine. But at $25 a six-pack or $65 a bottle, respectively, I generally walk straight past these tastes of home to grab whatever bottle of Italian table wine is on sale this week.

Today, though, I lingered a bit and noticed that while most sections of the store are labeled with the flag of the wines' country of origin, the American section bears (no pun intended) the standard of the "California Republic."

I employed my usual combination of crappy Turkish and excessive hand gestures to tell the man working the counter that I was from California and that I liked the flag. He replied that Americans in general are "antipatik" but Californians are "sempatik." Why, thanks, Istanbul. I love you too.

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