The Flavor of Hospitality (Hour 6 – 2020)

Prompt 18, Half Marathon 2: Hour 6

Title: The Flavor of Hospitality

The Grand Bazaar is quite an experience to behold.
The scents of roasting kebabs alongside the rose aroma of a batch of Turkish Delight.
People wandering in all directions, as shopkeepers pitch their wares.
Traditional ornamental lamps displayed in one window,
while another holds a gallery of exquisite carpets.
All around a mosaic of shades of red, blue orange, and turquoise.

One could spend weeks wandering through it,
though we only had hours.

And as we lost track of time,
ambling through the labyrinthine passageways,
our energy waning,
we finally arrived at the calm waters of the Bosphorus.

As we stood, visibly exhausted,
a man approached us and asked us to sit on the veranda of his cafe overlooking the waterfront.
In his hands, a fresh kettle of tea,
golden in hue and embracing the full flavor of cardamom.
Finally, a welcome respite from the buzzing activity of the day.

As we stood up to take care of the check,
we were greeted with a surprise:
“No sir, it would be wrong to accept.
You all are guests here in Istanbul.”

A simple act of generosity that still echoes in my mind years later.
An unusual end to an extraordinary day.

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