Sunday, September 25, 2011

I wish I liked ...

Turkish chai (çay) 

Turkish delight

It's difficult to imagine if you are an American. The concept is so foreign to us. Being offered a drink at every place of business you walk into. But that's how it is with Turkish chai. Everywhere. It is served just like the picture above everywhere you go. In this same glass with two squares of sugar (şeker).

Yesterday I was at a Turkish pharmacy off-Base. Do I want chai? I wish I did because I can tell they are disappointed and confused when I say I do not. More often than not, they bring me some anyway. Surely they heard wrong. What person would not accept the offer for chai? So they bring me one. And I feel bad. So I take it. And then they ask me why I am not drinking it. And then I have to say it's because I don't like it.

Rana taught me how to say I didn't want it in Turkish. That I don't like it. That I never drink chai. But even telling them in Turkish doesn't seem to make sense to the Turks. Not drink chai? Ever? What IS wrong with me? The truth is, I don't like the flavor of tea at all. And in fact, I don't like the flavor of coffee either. And another fact is that I really don't like warm drinks very much. I can drink some cider and hot chocolate is tolerable. But even then, I'd rather have a glass of water.

Okay, so anyways. And then there is Turkish delight. (Surely those of you C.S. Lewis fans remember this from Narnia?) Turkish delight is something I can eat. It's not terrible. But I don't really like it. I have found that, in fact, many Americans don't care much for it so this isn't as unusual. But I still find myself eating a piece of candy that just doesn't taste that good most places I go. It's not as frequently offered as the chai. But it's still there. And liking it would make my life a whole lot easier.

So there you have it. A bit of Turkish culture and how easy it is to not fit into it just by being born without liking the teaste of tea.


Anonymous said...

haha! sometime i've found instead of direct I don't like it -i can say something like I'm sorry i can't have sugar (they won't serve it without)...or just like my friends would say they could NOT drink something with Ice in it -you might say I can't drink hot drinks...that gets past saying I don't like it :)
Tante Jan

Carolyn said...

I'm curious. What is Turkish delight? Is it rock candy? Anise flavored maybe? Or something else?

Flakymn said...

It is so hard to explain. I suppose it is a sort of gummy, gelatin of different flavors coated with different textures but I am just not sure how else to explain it!

The Mac's House said...

Wendi, my daughter said you explained it very well. She LOVES the Turkish Delight. My husband would love the Chai tea, it is his favorite.