The Nice Thing About Strangers

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

Not Bad

It is a blessing to live across the street from a market with such lovely fruits and vegetables. They are a feast for the eyes. Plus, it’s handy since there is a lot of rain during this visit and I don’t travel with an umbrella. I don’t like to carry things, an umbrella counts as a thing, and I’m also a little bit afraid that I will poke someone in the face with it. Usually, I just put on a hat and speedwalk to my destinations. So I am glad for the market with its colorful fare just a few steps away.

I am loading up on whatever you call the small orange-like fruit that is easy to peel. These are from Izmir and I believe here they are called mandolinas. Maybe at home they are clementines or nectarines or mandarin oranges–or are those only in cans? Nonetheless, I put about six in a sack and notice an old man standing at my left elbow. He is wearing a plaid scarf and a driving cap. There’s a break in the rain so we can both loiter by the produce, and I shift a bit in case I am standing in his way. He looks at me without moving and I smile, try a “good day,” and lean even further to my right. I laugh a little, not sure what he may need. I ask how he is and say something about the rain, mostly to show him that he can proceed in Turkish if he’s patient.

He nods, “Did you see the apples?” He points them out for me.

I nod back, “Are they any good?” I expect a glowing recommendation and prepare a grateful Turkish reply.

Then he shrugs, “Not bad.” And with that mediocre review and a turn to the right, he shuffles away, leaving me unconvinced and overjoyed. It wasn’t advice, just chit-chat between a few market regulars. Just a break in the rain, just something to say.

-Istanbul, Turkey.
istanbul market

8 comments on “Not Bad

  1. joannerambling
    January 4, 2016

    Not bad at all

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      January 6, 2016

      🙂 I hope the story was better than the apples. This is always a goal of mine. Hehe.
      Have a great week, Joanne!

  2. Maccabros
    January 4, 2016

    … 🙂

    by the way – all the best for you in 2016 my dear Page…♥…

    ganz liebe Grüße,


    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      January 6, 2016

      Seite geht auch. 😀 My German prof used to call me Seite.
      Happy New Year, liebe Maccabros! Alles gute!

      • Maccabros
        January 6, 2016

        But a nice Seite, dear Paige… : )

  3. Maccabros
    January 4, 2016

    Sorry – PAIGE…

  4. davecenker
    January 6, 2016

    I love visiting fresh produce markets. A combination of the scents and vibrant colors creates an atmosphere that awakens all the senses. And, as you so aptly pointed out, it’s good for the soul when you run across others who’d just like to share some simple kindness with a fellow human being 😉 Well done, thanks for sharing!

  5. sweetexp
    January 6, 2016

    Wowser, that is so refreshing and full of vibrant life to have that gorgeous view! The view you are showing is a warm blanket of joy to the eye; much the same way as the first sentence of this blog entry Paige! We love it.

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This entry was posted on January 4, 2016 by in Blogging, Mischief, Turkey, Writing.

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