Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tea with Turks

Turkish apple tea served in a typical tulip-shaped glass

Turks drink a lot of tea -- before meals, after meals, in the morning, during the afternoon, and definitely at night!  We have learned that tea is very important in Turkish culture.  We enjoy it too, especially the apple tea.  The only thing we don't understand is why it is always served in a glass with no handle.  For the first few minutes after receiving the tea we can't even touch the glass because it is so hot.

This brings us to Şirince, a mountain village near Ephesus where we spent the last several nights.  We were wandering around the hills and dirt paths above Şirince when we came across the view below.  We were near a house and walked down the driveway to get a better look.  We were taking it all in when behind us we heard a man's friendly voice say "hello."  We were embarrassed to be caught in his backyard, but he wasn't upset and instead invited us inside for tea.  We accepted right away! 

View over Şirince

So that's how we ended up spending a really interesting couple of hours enjoying tea on the porch with the most amazing view of Şirince getting to know Ali (a Turk), his wife Karla (a Korean), and their four-month-old son Yusuf.  Ali had finished building the house himself only a month before.  Our favorite part was the treehouse in the chestnut tree out back!

Ali's house in Şirince

As the sun went down, we all made our way back into town.  As we reached Ali's mother's house to say goodbye, we could hear lots of voices inside enjoying dinner at the end of a long day of fasting for Ramadan.  It was a very memorable evening for us.

Karla, Ali, and Yusuf in Sirince