Ever since I first read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe I’ve wondered what Turkish Delight was like. I wonder no more. Every shop in Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar offered free samples. I not only had my fill, but also found out there are as many varieties of the stuff (called lokum in Turkish) as there are booths in the Spice Bazaar.
I knew I was going to make that connection.
We were in a pottery workshop and one of the plates had the logo of one of the Turkish football teams (soccer for American readers) and a lion was part of the logo. The word under the lion said, “Aslan.” Aslan is the Turkish word for lion.
Based on a few minutes with Google, I’m certainly not the first to make the connection, or to wonder if Lewis had some sort of fascination with Turkey, but I had never heard anyone make the connection before our trip. Lewis never visited Turkey as far as I can tell. I wonder how he found the word.
Two Turkish words in particular will stay with me.
The first is dondurma: ice cream. I wanted my vocabulary to be as useful as possible. This was the first word I learned and it served me well. Turkish ice cream is worth the trip all by itself.
The second word is çay (pronouned “chy”), which means tea. This one was easy because the word is pronounced the same in Swahili, though spelled differently (chai) and means the same thing. Of course, thanks to Starbucks and other savvy beverage marketers, “Chai” in America is an expensive concoction of I’m not sure what, though I think tea is involved at some level. In Turkey, çay is black tea served with sugar in a small hourglass-shaped glass and is offered anytime you are around someone for more than two or three minutes. It’s awesome.
Before we left on our trip, I took a disposable camera that had been in my Jeep for several months to CVS to get developed. (Actually, I took it there about a month before we left; we had no idea what pictures might come back. I picked them up today. All of the images were from late last summer and last fall. One of them is the main reason I wanted to write tonight. I just wanted you too see this picture. Whenever I pick up Gracie, our youngest Schnauzer, I wrap my arms around her and let her legs dangle. She then begins to kiss my face with complete abandon, totally trusting that I won’t let go. And I never do.