Sometimes we get so bored, we do grocery shopping for fun. Sometime we go one step further and shop for household items to entertain ourselves. We once made a day of shopping for pillows and bed linen in preparation for Mike’s parents’ arrival. Perhaps this, along with new-found love for containers and casserole dishes is a sign of getting
older more mature. However, sometimes shopping is unavoidable, especially if you are eating mostly whole foods and have a new hobby of juicing so you need to haul kilos of fresh fruit and vegetables home every other day. We have a ‘grandma’ shopping trolley to assist us in these endeavors and we often take advantage of the fact that most supermarkets here in Kaysery have ‘servis’ – free shuttles that will take you and your shopping bags to your door. It was in one such shuttle that my in-laws and I spent a very entertaining half hour today.
Micheal’s parents traveled from the US to stay with us for a few weeks. In-between trips and sightseeing, we are taking some downtime at home -watching movies, chatting and just generally spending time together. Today the three of us (minus Michael) walked to one of our favorite supermarkets.
Mike’s dad patiently waiting for us the slowpokes.
We like to shop in a chain of supermarkets called Beğendik (which translates as We liked (it)). It’s slightly more expensive than other stores but usually has good quality produce and meat. Last autumn they opened a new store less than 10 minutes away from our apartment which became our local store, but sometimes we do the 30-minute walk to the bigger Beğendik because they have a fish counter and a bigger selection of fruit and vegetables.
Today I stocked up on fish. I couldn’t decide between mackerel and çupra (sea bream), so I got both and was mentally estimating how much more fish my freezer can take while the fish guy was cleaning and gutting the fish for us. Mike’s father noticed something I haven’t seen before – a box tip and dropped a few coins into it.
After we loaded all our stuff into numerous cloth bags amid my screeches of DON’T SQUASH THE FIGS PLEASE BAG THEM SEPARATELY, we went outside to went for the free shuttle to take us home. After about 10 minutes, the shuttle arrived and the driver opened the door, going into the store presumably for a break. We sat down (NOBODY SIT ON THE FIGS PLEASE!) and were soon joined by a Turkish lady who immediately started chatting to me. She tried addressing Mike’s parents, too, even though I told her they don’t speak Turkish and said that my Turkish was good (it isn’t) and said that she didn’t use to speak Turkish, or she did, but not well because she lived in Germany, or maybe she was born there and then she took Turkish classes or maybe she never did take them but learned anyway, and she can speak German, but not English or maybe she speaks both. As you can see, my grasp of the rapid stream of her monologue was weak at best. Soon two more ladies got into the bus and flawlessly joined our conversation, curiously pointing at Mike’s parents and asking if they were my mom and dad, where they were from, where I was from, where we lived in Kayseri, whether they liked Turkey, whether I liked Kayseri. Now this my level of Turkish allows me to comprehend so I happily satisfied their curiosity. At some point my mother-in-law asked me to ask one of the ladies if she was hot in her black overcoat and the lady replied that yes, she was but that’s what she had to wear. I smiled sympathetically and at this she leaned across the seat and hugged me. This is the second time I was hugged by a kind Turkish lady on a bus. The first time a lady complimented my eyes and I pulled all my Turkish grammar knowledge together to produce a phrase, “Annemin gözleri”, which means “My mother’s eyes” at which the lady got all emotional and came and hugged me. Soon, thought, conversation became difficult as the bus filled up. The ladies tutted impatiently, saying, “Hadi, şoför” (Come on, driver) until he finally came out of the store, got in and started asking everyone for their destination. Another lady came in at the last minute and sat next to me. When “our” ladies started getting off, I told them, “Memnum oldum, Iyi günler” (Nice to meet you, have a nice day), she kept looking at me curiously, not in the least embarrassed when I caught her looking, perhaps wondering why I was saying all those things to seemingly random people. After a short detour around the neighborhood, we were dropped off by our building and went home to unpack groceries and cook lunch.