One night in Istanbul, David, Derek, and I went out for dinner, wandering down a few less-frequented roads until we found a restaurant with şiş (shish) for the right price. Our restaurant had an upstairs with cozy chairs and a view over the street below, so we settled in to look at the menu.
“Two lamb şiş and one chicken şiş, please,” we said.
“Of course,” our server replied, nodding his head once at a 45° angle, as if it were the most natural thing for us to ask for.
And then later; “Two cups of çay (chai), please,” I said, and then he looked at Derek, who shook his head, saying, “nothing for me, thank you.”
“Of course,” our server said, tucking his head once more.
Our dinner passed pleasantly and after we paid we realized we were the last customers keeping our hosts from their various homes, so as we walked out the door and started heading back to the hotel, the employees were bringing in the outdoor tables and shaking the rugs. We were a couple blocks away, laughing together about the endearing way our server replied to each and every situation throughout the evening when I realized I’d left my purse upstairs in the restaurant!
I hurried back, arriving a little out of breath as the lights of the restaurant were dimming, half speaking and half gesturing my plight. “My purse!” I said, pointing to my side and then upstairs to where we’d been sitting. The same gentlemen who’d been so attentive at dinner didn’t think twice about my harried state and simply said, with a slight tilt of his head, “of course.”