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  • Writer's pictureseimaistato

At grandparents', a summer evening

Alaçati, Turkiye - August 2022

We have several memories of that evening, but the one we will definitely carry in our hearts was that delicious dinner at the home of two very special Turkish grandparents.

Ineffectively, deciding to continue down that bumpy street and away from the lights and voices of downtown was a 10-star choice. But that is not how the evening began.

Alaçati is a really picturesque village: white houses, violet flowers and bougainvillea in many of the streets, clubs and little restaurants on the street, a thousand colors and little stores with handicrafts as only Turks know how to do. We were taking a walk before dinner and stopping often to capture those charming little streets, when the boys decide to play a trick on us and leave us behind. In no time at all we got lost: calling them out loud, running through the various village streets, splitting up...we couldn't call each other because only one person had a Turkish SIM card. Coincidentally, we found ourselves and amid friendly insults (and even a little less) and much much much hunger than expected, we consulted TripAdvisor for advice on where to dine.

We followed the signs to a seemingly family-owned establishment and ... found ourselves at the top of an unfriendly road with no sign on the horizon. We decided to go ahead anyway and stopped in front of the only lighted porch where an elderly couple was chatting with some guys sitting at a table. "Guys, it says it’s here."

We approached the grandparents and asked for directions, but they gestured that they didn’t speak English. Obviously. 

The guys at the table approached and explained that we were in the right place. They walked us inside and we found ourselves in front of the kitchen: the smell of mothballs, homey decor, a table set with colorful bowls of all sizes with ready-made dishes from the local tradition... We widened our eyes in wonder. We were literally in their house: super smiling and a little awkwardly, they started signaling to us that everything was home-made by them and it was good -how could we not believe them! We sat at a table on the veranda after choosing and marking the portions, and once at the table it was phenomenal. One of the best dinners we remember, and we have never felt so at home. The care and thoughtfulness of the small gestures, the kindness that went beyond the language barrier. We felt like hugging them.

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