The Nice Thing About Strangers

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


On the busy road, a taxi driver slows, inspiring a concerto of honking horns behind him. A red soccer ball rolls into traffic. I notice the children, the owners of the ball, a few blocks ahead, peering to see what might be the result of their game. Two girls, two boys, another girl holding a light pink ball and hugging it, perhaps as a sign that it would be unfit for a match.

A man hustles out into traffic to retrieve the ball. He looks down the block, and I offer to deliver it, as I am walking in their direction anyway. He pauses with the hesitation of an ego considering kicking the ball to show off his prowess, then thankfully choosing the second option: bringing it a few paces and not kicking a ball at the foreign blonde woman.  I carry it a block to where the children stand, and one tiny boy slides down the side of the hill in a rush to accept it. He keeps his head low, “Teşekkür ederim.”  Graciously thanking me for bringing back their afternoon, he runs back to his friends, all waving and whispering thank yous, so I can practice the phrase from the Turkish conversation books, “Bir şey değil.”

It was nothing.

–Istanbul, Turkey. (Still rumbling over a pair of blog post projects in this lovely little village. I’m waiting for closure and more stray cat photos. Patience is a virtue.)

Fortune cookie, travel advice

Pardon the haze, I’m using my focus for other things.


10 comments on “Manners

  1. senatorbrett
    September 5, 2012

    You should have played soccer with them! Kidding. Good observation. Have a fun and safe time out there!


  2. anelephantcant
    September 6, 2012

    Brilliant site, just love it!
    Thank you so much for dropping by and liking stuff, thus leading back here.
    When are you coming to Scotland?
    We have zillions of stories!
    Some good and some by AnElephant!

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      September 6, 2012

      Hmm! I’ve never been to Scotland. My sister used to date a Scot, so she did the tour. Someday, promise! Thanks for checking out the blog. I hope you enjoy it.

      • anelephantcant
        September 6, 2012

        AnElephantCant deny that he loves your blog and will return to read lots more.

  3. Kevin Neilson
    September 6, 2012

    How did you come to live in Turkey? A prying question, to be sure. A red soccer ball is a dead giveaway of foreign environs. Foreign meant in that purely relative sense. Cheers, Kevin

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      September 6, 2012

      Not here to stay, just putting in some quality time. I didn’t know that a red soccer ball was so out of the ordinary! Glad I took (unintentional) note!

  4. ivonprefontaine
    September 7, 2012

    Paige, thank you for stopping and liking today’s post. I look forward to reading about your travels many places. I look forward to traveling with an easy heart and happy expectations.

    Take care,


    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      September 7, 2012

      Thanks so much, Ivon! It’s been nice to be able to put in the miles and keep the easy heart as well.
      All the best–

  5. thenicethingaboutstrangers
    September 13, 2013

    Reblogged this on The Nice Thing About Strangers and commented:

    Sorry not to have something new, but I’m caught up a bit today and distracted. My thoughts are with of the folks in the Colorado Flooding, my home town, my neighborhood. Wishing my folks the best.
    See you soon,

  6. kiwiskan
    September 13, 2013

    Hope all is well back home

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: