The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

The Joy of Forgetting

This morning I took my notebook out for a date at the park. We had a delightful time. I ran a pen dry. While taking notes on what I’ve seen this week, I suddenly started writing a passage in Turkish. Sometimes it’s easier to write about your feelings when the results will be necessarily banal. My grasp of Turkish adjectives is still slim. This week I worked on nice goal words: “generous,” “witty,” and “brave.”

Nonetheless, when I check out the Turkish passage now, I look forward to two different moments ahead. 1.) The day I can read it and smile at my grammatical errors. 2.) The day I won’t be able to read it, but will remember that once I did what everyone claims they want to do–I tore off after a big adventure.

The Turkish language will most likely disappear from my part-of-the-brain-made-for-languages-but-already-sadly-full-of-80s-pop-songs. Yet, I hope I will recall feeling very blessed and grateful.

Istanbul graffiti

23 comments on “The Joy of Forgetting

  1. senatorbrett
    September 3, 2012

    I like the idea of your blog. Having spent two years traveling most of the United States I can say that some of my most awesome, terrifying and gorgeous moments have been found from and with strangers. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I greatly appreciate it.

    Keep on writing!

    -SB

    http://senatorbrett.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/totd-what-i-wish-i-meant/

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      September 3, 2012

      Thanks for coming by, SB. I grew weary of all the warnings for travelers and decided to give the cynics another reason to grumble. The “random acts of kindness” becomes less cliche and more necessary as one roams. Hope to see you again soon!

  2. Wendy Weinhold
    September 3, 2012

    Darling, I love the complexity of your two moments ahead. Either and both are proud insights to look forward to!

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      September 3, 2012

      Darling: you’re a darling. The first recalls my even minor triumphs in German and the second prepares me for this whole thing to go down in flames! Hehe. Ready for anything!

  3. TFF
    November 26, 2012

    I loved reading through your Turkish experiences! They brought back lovely memories of my month spent in Istanbul when I was in my early twenties. Many cups of tea and too many gin and tonics there, but an unforgettable and magical time of my life spent with the kindest of strangers. Ah, now I’m writing about frugality! How things change!

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      November 26, 2012

      How lovely! I also had tons of tea in Istanbul, but that kept me frugal nonetheless! Thanks for stopping by the blog. 🙂 Frugality sort of implies a kindness with strangers, right? Well, I feel they go hand in hand anyway.

  4. arranqhenderson
    April 5, 2013

    I admire, and am a little jealous of, your learning Turkish. I’ve been here only once, and that was many, many years ago but now more than ever I long to return. Wonderful country saturated with history and fantastic people too. I like your list of “goal-adjectives” also: “generous,” “witty,” and “brave.” – excellent choices, 🙂 and I’d hazard, applicable in many ways to your own lovely blog. Thanks very much for your visits to mine, they are appreciated. warm regards from Dublin- A.

  5. Reblogged this on The Nice Thing About Strangers and commented:

    My heart and head are in Turkey at the moment.

  6. suej
    May 17, 2014

    I have just returned from an all-too-short trip to Turkey, thoroughly enjoyed it, lots of interactions with strangers….. I’m off to look at some of your other Turkey writings now, 🙂

    • How wonderful, Sue! Where did you go? It seems tough to go to Turkey and not have some interactions with strangers! Very friendly folks when I was there as well. 🙂
      Paige

      • suej
        May 17, 2014

        I was at Fethiye for a cultural and arts festival….huge fun! Also got to see some sights in the area – bustling markets, Lycean tombs, Roman ruins, an abandoned village, mist in a valley at 6am. what more could to want?

      • Oh, how lovely, Sue! I’ve been to the nearby Oludeniz twice and loved it. Turkey is a place that is growing more and more dear to my heart. 🙂
        Thanks,
        Paige

      • suej
        May 21, 2014

        Well, I rather hope I will go back! 🙂

  7. Jeff Walker
    May 19, 2014

    “…my part-of-the-brain-made-for-languages-but-already-sadly-full-of-80s-pop-songs.”

    You too? Sadly that portion of my brain has almost completely absorbed the three years of German that I learned in that decade. To paraphrase King Arthur in Monty Python & the Holy Grail that part of my brain is “a silly place.”

    • I’m glad to know I’m not alone. The other day a student made a joke about Menudo, so I listened to a song on youtube and–to my horror–I knew ALL the words. All of them. On a positive note, I also know the entire album of The Best of Bill Cosby, so if there’s ever a blackout, I can entertain my neighbors. 🙂
      Paige

      • Jeff Walker
        May 21, 2014

        Ok Paige…you lost me with Menudo. But I can recite the old Bill Cosby routines with you. I even have one of his CDs in my car at the moment. I grew up listening to his 60s standup albums on my parent’s record player and when I got older I purchased them all on CD.

        While I’ve heard of Menudo I don’t think I’ve ever heard them. Now I’m scared to listen and find out. 🙂

      • It’s better that you don’t know. They were a band from Puerto Rico with a TV show that came on after we returned from Mass. The boys had to leave the group at 16, if I remember correctly. Ricky Martin was in it. 🙂

        Ah, I also listened to my parents’ Bill Cosby records. “Why Is There Air?” Is a wonderful one.

        Drive safely, even while chatting along with Cosby!
        Paige

  8. Carol Balawyder
    May 19, 2014

    Learning another language is difficult enough. One has to practice it in order not to forget. But I think it’s really like riding a bicycle (excuse the cliche)…one never really forgets.You just have to retrieve it somewhere from your memory. 🙂

    • Carol,
      I keep hoping it will be like a bicycle, but it’s one I keep riding into traffic! I spoke with my former roommate this week and my German is atrocious. Every other word was Turkish. I do wish I’d tried to learn languages when I was younger–I didn’t really begin until 28–but nonetheless, it’s been an important lesson in humility. 🙂
      Paige

      • Carol Balawyder
        May 20, 2014

        Paige, you might want to keep this in mind: Research has shown that learning another language is one of the best ways to prevent the onset of Alzheimer. 🙂

      • Carol,
        That’s true, so despite the frustrations, I’ll keep at it. I would also like to work on Spanish one day, but I’ll keep myself occupied with Turkish for a while, I believe. 🙂
        I’ve been reading the “Journal of a Soul” by Saint John XXIII, who was in Turkey for 10 years as a Papal Representative. He also writes, “I need to keep working on my Turkish.” So I guess I’m in good company there as well.
        Paige

      • Carol Balawyder
        May 21, 2014

        Great company, I’d say you have. 🙂

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