“Oy Vey’Izmir” (a type of desert kvetch), says Jordan, when I ask what part of Turkey Buket’s from. I wish I had snapped a photo of these two young folks sitting next to us this morning at our Frank’s breakfast.
“Is that your car with the Vermont plates?” I ask about the car facing us in the lot across the street. Ok, I already had a few cups of coffee, not that I need any encouragement to speak to strangers.
“Yeah, I don’t really live there but I like to drive around and have people yell, ‘Yay Bernie,'” replies Jordan (whom I had already determined shared my heritage). He’s a freelance translator and Buket is a fifth year Ph.D student in chemistry at the University of Arizona.
Turkey talk ensues. Buket laughs when I repeat the two Turkish words I know — Optum and Merhaba (hello). In about five weeks I’m going to Antalya to visit friends, I tell her, the start of my big birthday trip.
First stop below, Antalya, Turkey.
Of course, Maine comes up (Hell, it’s near Vermont). Turns out that years ago Jordan stayed in the Southwest Harbor home of a woman who made “Dogs are People” jewelry. (Anybody know who it is? Do I know this woman? Probably, but it’s not ringing a bell at the moment.)
The world is small. Our hearts are big. There are so many ways to connect with other people, most of whom are kind, friendly and curious, as I am. I’m excited and nervous about my trip. So far away, so much flying. Time by myself in strange countries.
I wish I had asked Buket where I should go if I got to Izmir, any of her family I should visit?
No matter. Our chance encounter reminds me that I can make friends anywhere. And really, aren’t we all of the same heritage?
When we all get up to leave leave, we shake hands. “Nice to meet you,” says Buket. “Have fun in Turkey!” I will, I will.
Sunset in Kas, Turkey. Thanks to Pat for the photos.