Ollie and I went out to get some food. We had eaten a big late lunch out (nothing unusual there…) and so were having a snacky tea in our room. I thought this was time to have a bit of baklava so we went to a spice/sweet shop in our local bazaar (about 2 mins walk). With four pieces of baklava safely in the box I thought we should continue with our Lokum sampling too, plus that lovely pomegranate one from yesterday, oh and lemon and honey…soon the box was full (ish).
Then the guy serving us noticed Ollies parachord bracelet and bam! One of those wonderful times unfolded where you connect with someone. When Ollie said he had made it himself and I revealed mine too, he showed us one he had just made that morning for himself.
He was blown away with Ollies workmanship (in fact all the staff came and admired it) and Ollie offered him some clips as his was qute a different style. Dave seemed very pleased and quickly filled our box to overflowing with more chocolate covered, delight filled goodness….
Ollie and I popped home, got all his paracord he had with him (this is what his pack is filled with… survival gear) and back we went taking Charlie with us who was most indignant to have missed out on so much free sampling (lots). It turns out that Dave, our new friend had lived in Chicago and worked as a translator for the US Marines! Double wow in Ollies books.
He was so happy to be given some clips, and a couple of different colours of parachord. In exchange he gave Ollie his newly made bracelet, Charlie got his free sample of Lokum and tomorrow he is bringing in some of his army issue, dark khaki cord for Ollie to have.
After swapping facebook info, we buzzed our way home.
This is the biggest and most wonderful thing about travel for me. The people we meet and connect with.
There is much suspicion of strangers in our culture. A caution that doesn’t exsist here and doesn’t need to . People are genuinely lovely whereever we go.
I have been discussing the use of nuclear weapons and power with the travel agent over the the road (who looks uncannily like Wayne’s brother Tony and is the same gentle, kind human being) and feel as though peace really does begin right here. Ollie too has been blown away with the kindness and the love that people have shown us. The humour, the friendliness, the genuine interest in our story. The acceptance of who we are. As another, Aussie friend here said while also discussing peace, if we not fighting we are peaceful.
In all it’s hustle and bustle there are many, many peacemakers here in Istanbul and we are grateful to be meeting so many of them.