In our travels we see incredible countries that are historical and welcoming; yet people are what makes this World great.  Without people, the World may be beautiful but boring.

So, let’s talk about a few of them.  These are the good people who come to our office twice a week to clean.

Nadjia – During the Halloween celebrations at the Embassy, she posed near some of the decorations so a friend could photograph her.  So, I pulled my phone out to take some also.  The one below is her with Camal.  Then with her and Yousef.  These images  perfectly portray her innocence and love of Life.  Only a very few times have I seen her quiet, which was usually because she was tired or feeling ill.  She works 5 days a week at the Embassy, and the weekends cleaning other places, plus finding time going to school to learn English.  If you ask me, she is more a success than a great many people in the States.  Even among some of the arrogant American Foreign Service officers.

IMG_0171IMG_0167As I told you before how she learned the term, “See you later, alligator.”  Followed with her learning the response, “After while, crocodile.”  Recently, she learned to say, “Okey Dokey.”  Except her rendition is “Oinky Doinky.”

Camal – Camal is quiet and friendly, yet I see where Nadjia irritates him at times, because she is so light-hearted while he is serious.  She sings while she works and he mutters to her in Turkish.  She just smiles and continues singing.  Once Camal noticed I had cigars in a box on my desk, he asked for a couple for him and his friends.  I obliged.  The next Monday, he told me they were too strong and he didn’t want anymore.  But I still offer to him at times.

Yousef – As Camal moved on to other cleaning jobs, Yousef took his place.  Very quiet and extremely polite.  He always smiles at me and I greet him whenever I see him.  “Günaydın, Yousef Bey.” (Good Morning, Yousef, Sir.)

One of finest Turkish men I have met, is Fekrit Calim.  He is the father of one of our Turkish Technicians, Aydin.  Often when we go to Istanbul or Adana to work, he will come with us as they have relatives all over.  He is one of those people who you want to stand when they arrive. He’s only 11 years older than me, but I show him the respect that is given for the revered elderly.  Below is him sitting with Aydin.

IMG_0034I gave him the excuse of my mother being 900 years old and loves the pictures I send.  He was delighted to oblige.  The man speaks excellent English.  Started learning it as a kid while  working with the Intelligence agencies, cleaning their barracks.  He has a good assortment of stories to tell.

About a month ago, one of the cats on the Embassy grounds scratch a kid, thus prompting calls for their ouster. (cats, not the kids)  Most likely, the kid had it coming, because the cats maybe a little leery of us, but they are non-threatening.  Below is a image I thought was worth posting.  Management said to quit feeding the feral cats.  As a friend said, they obviously do not know the meaning of feral.

IMG_0169Terese went with me to work on the G20 Summit down in Antalya and on the way back, we decided to stop and purchase some potatoes and onions from one of the many roadside vendors.  We purchase a bag each for a total of 30 TL, which is about $10.50.  Split it up and gave some to Serkan and Allison.

IMG_0187Okay.  Times up.  But currently, I am having an interesting conversation with the Damn Cat and hope to share it soon.  Until then, kick butt.  D.