Sunday, July 22, 2012

Kazancı manavı

"Abla!" a familiar voice called out from across the street. I was passing by my neighborhood greengrocer and no one else in the vicinity fit the (commonly used) description of "sister." I turned my head. "Your semizotu (purslane)," he said.

Ah. Earlier in the day I had stopped in to buy some salad fixings. Thinking he didn't have arugula (my all-time favorite), I had settled on semizotu, then changed my mind when I learned he did indeed have my preferred green. Apparently I didn't communicate that very well. I tried to explain the misunderstanding. He listened, then looked at me quizzically. "So the semizotu...?"

"I'm sorry, I didn't want it," I said. "OK, then I need to give back your money," he replied, pulling two lira coins (just over $1) out of his change box and handing them to me. I thanked him, apologizing once more, and walked the rest of the way home, thinking yet again how alive and well "small town values" are in this city of at least 15 million.

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