a cup of cay

Istanbul, amidst the hustle & bustle, whether in Europe or Asia, and despite of thousand vendors, has limited types of tourist attractions, limited food specialities, and limited ways to truly entertain yourselves, with an exception of Turkish sweet delights. I freely use the word ‘limited’ but only in a positive sense. When the number of options are low, you don’t pick & choose. The ‘pick & choose’ is the evil us humans have cultivated but some other day on this topic. When the number of options are low, you don’t pick & choose. When you don’t pick & choose, you end up absorbing every bit and at the end, you have seen a country with all of its main constituents – culture, religion, lifestyle, people, food, environment, trade, sports, etc…

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My favorite this far has been to watch crowds of a jillion people each securing a seat at the cafés and sipping on cay. Cay is a strongly brewed Turkish tea with a slightly bitter aftertaste. It’s the ultimate wind-down activity of day. It warms up the food canal and makes a clear pathway for your nutritional back-fill tomorrow. Instead of seemingly never ending texts on pof or spending hours gazing at topless men selfies, a boy & a girl share a face to face chemistry over a garama-garam (steamy hot) cup of cay. Old couples walking down memory lanes, adolescent boys cracking jokes, and couples falling in & out of love over a cup of cay. No iPads, no looking at the watch, no worries. Just a small little sip at a time.

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