A Magical Encounter

On the ferbot to Karsiyaka

Today, the three of us went on our own ways. Sami went to the internet cafe, Clarence to the Sarar Outlet and myself to Konak. Wanted to visit Ataturk Cultural Centre to enquire about the rehearsals of the STate Orchestra so that I can watch the rehearsals for free. However, the lady at the centre instead gave me a brochure of performances for this and the upcoming months. Despite orgrenci receiving 50% of all tickets, 10 YTL for a concert is still steep. Wandered into the Fine Arts Museum which was next door. Quality of works are definitely higher and better than A.C.C. where the latter seems to display students’ FYP.

Saw a poster advertising books, music and paintings. Went inside. Language barrier again. A man came to the rescue, brought me to level 2, asked me which subject I am researching on. I said “none in particular” to which he replied “general”. Nothing much to see. Surprised at the small collection of books, particularly for research. There were no datbases to use; instead they have a card catalogue system. Wnadered into the second adjourning building. Turned out to be a children library. Entered. Less than a minute later, a librarian spoke to me in English. Tired to bring me around. Offered me a short conversation. She was probably displeased when I said that the library is what Singapore’s libraries looked 10 years ago. Left. Had a conversation with two male librarians. ASked me about my religion and the percentages in Singapore. They were pleased when I wrote 20% of the population are Muslims. Oh yeah, the lady librarian asked me whether Singapore is a wealthy country. I answered “One of the richest in the world”. Is that a politically correct answer? Left me out of conversation. They appeared to be talking about Turkiye and the government’s inability to generate wealth despite having the resources to do so.

Told them “orada bakiyorum”. Brought me to the blind section. Had 1.5 hour of pleasant conversations with two blind owmen who used to be English teachers. Drank Turkish coffee. Joked a lot. They brightened up when one asked “You said that you are shy. Why aren’t you shy with us?” I replid “How can anyone be shy with you two lovely ladies?” They laughed.

The retired English teacher described me as “always smiling and talkative” and “I make jokes and I am like a Turk”.


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