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.