The Nice Thing About Strangers

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

Hats Off

He tumbles, his small souvenir fez cap flying. The boy and his younger sister had been running down the cobblestones by the Archaeology Museum in Istanbul, dashing on ahead of … Continue reading

July 13, 2012 · 5 Comments

The ShoeDown

I believe we call this, The Competition. Repair or replace? From a shoe cart in Istanbul to a cowboy boot cobbler in Colorado Springs, it’s been quite a year already. … Continue reading

July 4, 2012 · 3 Comments

Visas and Patience

He took the window seat and buckled himself in. His adult daughter shuffled belongings around the overhead compartment and gave commentary on her discomfort. He nodded at her words, not … Continue reading

May 30, 2012 · 5 Comments

Spring Resolutions

Meanwhile nostalgia in reverse, the longing for yet another strange land, grew especially strong in spring. –Vladimir Nabokov. Mary. Photos from an Istanbul spring to inspire further restlessness. Are you … Continue reading

May 2, 2012 · Leave a comment

You Can Read Over My Shoulder, But You Can’t Come Along

In the shuttle bus to the airplane, I break into scraps of conversational Turkish with a group of teenage boys from Kahramanmaraş. Even the boldest among them–a boy with smooth … Continue reading

March 12, 2012 · 11 Comments

Say Peynir!

From a spot in Gülhane park, one can keep a clear sight of the lines of people posing with the Atatürk statue. A bronze figure on a stone base, he … Continue reading

March 9, 2012 · 8 Comments

Welcome Home

Long blonde ponytailed-twentysomething balances on her wedge shoes and tugs her jacket over her leggings and looks as angry as she had in our excessively hot airplane. She waites for … Continue reading

March 7, 2012 · 7 Comments

Hand-Holding, Skeletons, and Snacks

Whenever I remember that I have a skeleton, I get a wave of anxious queasiness. In science classrooms, I would cringe at the bleached construction of what allegedly resides under … Continue reading

March 2, 2012 · 2 Comments

Underline.

Read sparingly but ardently. That way you’ll look far more knowledgeable than those who read a great deal but enjoy nothing. -Orhan Pamuk. The Black Book. (One might even trade … Continue reading

March 1, 2012 · 2 Comments

French on Film

Two French tourists in white running shoes jogged yet another lap through the park packed with visitors. Actually, not jogging so much as springing in an animated walk. Even on … Continue reading

February 29, 2012 · 2 Comments

Safe and Sorry

An elderly woman in a headscarf lined up the start of YMCA, arms outstretched, but there was no one else to finish the chorus.  Preparing for the 2 am flight … Continue reading

February 27, 2012 · 1 Comment

Pick Me Up

The Taksim bus station, night and day, hosts chaos. Buses line up and depart from four doubled-up lines and feature the soundtrack of air brakes and honking horns. Pedestrians, as … Continue reading

February 20, 2012 · 1 Comment

Last Minute Turkish Lessons Because…

Being in the foreign country means walking a tightrope high above the ground without the net afforded a person by the country where he has his family, colleagues, and friends, … Continue reading

February 11, 2012 · 1 Comment

Packs of Blondes

Granted, it was a small sample, but from the Turkish TV dramas I’d  watched in passive attempts to learn the language, all of the blonde women were evil. Friends in … Continue reading

February 3, 2012 · 25 Comments

Misguided Tour

Waiting at the station, she made a quick phone call. “Hi, baby, hi, yeah. Your brother is here, he’s going to take me around today. But he doesn’t actually speak … Continue reading

January 27, 2012 · 1 Comment

I Miss Istanbul. And, and, and…

Basically, like nine-tenths of humanity, I always wanted to be somewhere else, usually in the place I have just fled from. -Thomas Bernhard. Wittgenstein’s Nephew.

December 24, 2011 · 1 Comment

Totally Not Making This Up

The salesman gazes and grins at a tourist sitting alone in the outdoor café. Her chair points toward his shop. To investigate him, she looks across the center line of … Continue reading

December 19, 2011 · 4 Comments

Window Shopping

No need to rush to the airport, two business men opt to take a coffee in the lobby of their hotel, where all of the signs are in English and … Continue reading

December 7, 2011 · 4 Comments

Not a Drop of Worry

A tall father rushed to keep his tiny daughter under their umbrella, trying to watch the fellow pedestrians so as not to gouge them, and also trying to watch the … Continue reading

November 28, 2011 · 5 Comments

Dinner Shift

The man and small boy park their cart and are waiting to be of service. Early in the evening, they sit on a step outside a long-abandoned barbershop. Huge posters … Continue reading

November 16, 2011 · 4 Comments

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