The surprisingness of normal folk


Wednesday 09 December, 2015 by Uncle Spike

Today was a good day in southwest Türkiye. 

I tackled a number of ‘chores’ today, starting off with taking the old car to the repair shop for it’s two-yearly repair/replacement of things that fell off and/or simply stopped working. Tis the bane of having a vehicle c.1988 I guess.

Second I had to high tail it to the nearest town by bus in order to locate some stuff needed to stop water from coming into the house – a race against time, having checked out the weather forecast last night 🙂

Anyway, the buses here are small, usually twelve-seater’s, although we tend to stuff in around twenty on a good haul. Today, I was one of those perched on a plastic stool; my usual luck. An elderly woman flagged down the bus shortly after that, and so, having been brought up ‘proper’, I vacated my stool and became one of the standees.

But the best part happened immediately after that. A spotty student-type, sporting the beginnings of a half-decent beard, with eyes glued to his smartphone, and simultaneously nodding away to unheard tunes emanating from the corded plugs in each ear jumped up from the back row, and waved to me to take his seat!




Life has taught me that this lad, who was all of seventeen, would probably feel he had every ‘right’ to a certain degree of surliness and other personality traits associated with that age. But the fact that he did this act was only a partial surprise if I’m honest. In this part of the world, respect for one’s elders is very much part of our culture.

However, to my utter delight and mild surprise, he addressed me as ‘ağabey’ (elder brother), a tag used to those older than oneself, but generally of the same generation. My expectation was for ‘amca’ (uncle), meaning of course that I was seen as being well-beyond his generation, and rightly so; I could almost have been his gramps!

I grinned relief, rather obviously I suspect. He grinned back, I think getting it too. For the next forty minutes of that ride, my greying beard and speckled hair was as dark and full as his, or so I felt.

Yes, today was a good day.



22 thoughts on “The surprisingness of normal folk

  1. Oh what a wonderful post! We were taught to respect elders .. It seems that it isn’t taught so much these days. So good to hear it is alive and well in Turkey ..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely young well mannered boy. And glad his name for you made you smile. Sometimes it’s the small things in this world that make us happy. I really enjoyed reading your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. prior2001 says:

    What a nice youngen’ – and u write so well uncle spike

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved hearing about these good manners. Although I’m not often on buses or subways, I’ve given up my seat to someone who may or may not be older than I, but while men of all ages were still sitting. No excuse for that!



  5. mvaden1948 says:

    Indeed a very good day.
    Living in the US and having my degree in Political Science and International Relations I tend to be a “news junkie” but for the most part I’ve been turning it off …particularly when a certain candidate for president is pontificating…or being discussed.
    But I am reminded of the quotation that says something like “those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.” I wonder how he would do on a world history or geography test? Hmm. I hope we never have to find out. Sad when you find yourself having to vote for the lesser of the evils. Okay, enough of my pontificating.

    I remember the first time a young boy (probably aged 10) got up and gave me a seat on an airport shuttle bus. Nope, not here in the US….in Italy. I’ll always refer to him as that charming child. He made my day.
    And I’m sure the young man on the bus made yours…with his comment also.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. edgar62 says:

    Sadly many Australian ‘Terms of Endearment” tend to be crude or use language that is unacceptable in other parts of the world. Some years ago the Tourist Board created a campaign that was “great”in their eyes and they simply could not understand why the UK and much of Europe banned it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yvonne says:

    Aw, that was just so nice. Keep your dark beard and hair!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dayphoto says:

    What a beautiful post! I love the respect your country gives to others. I remember the day a teenager opened the Post Office door for me. I knew I had reached ‘elderly’ at that moment. Of course, now, I get the door opened for me lots. I love the courtesy and the respect I am given. But, like you, I feel different when it happens…not younger, as you did, but way older, bent and stooped and totally white haired. Oh, well! There are still those who have manners and it’s nice to meet them once in awhile.


    Liked by 1 person

  9. Paula says:

    such simple every-day kindness really does foster hope in humanity! Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

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