Are you hungry?
"Son Mu?" I ask the women besides me on the bus, "Is this the last?"
she replies in the affirmative so I take my bag and make my way down the aisle to get off. A few hours ealier it had been made very clear that it was important that I get off at the last stop.
"You have to remember to get off at the last stop," a young man in charge of getting me safely on the bus had said. " I think you're going to forget, don't forget" He had reason to doubt my ability to remember, just a few minutes earlier I had caused quite a panic when I had forgotten where I had put my passport (in my pocket). But, to be fair, I was very tired and confused at that time.
My first impression of Turkey was that it was very big, very brown, very warm, and smelled a little like tobacco. From what I've seen so far my perceptions still seem to hold true. A little later my first impression of the people was made.
"Are you hungry?" was the first thing anyone asked me, I would be asked the same question many more times that day.
When my family picked me up from the bus stop, they drove me to their home. "Are you hungry?" My host mother asked. Vahide had already asked me in the car.
"No," I replied both times. "I just ate on the plane."
but a little while later it was time for dinner. "Are you hungry?" I'm asked, and this time I say yes. I am served soup, bread, chicken, rice, salad, and yogurt. I try to work through all the food. It is very good, but I eat a lot slower than everyone else. "Are you hungry?" my host mother asks again, this time in a concerned tone of voice as she compares my plate of food to my nine-year-old host brother's, who has already finished eating.
"when you meet a Turk." Vahide's cousin explains, "first he says hello, then he says 'are you hungry?'" That sounds about right