“Talk to me.” my companion said in a very predictable manner. She usually says this when she feels I’m ignoring her or at the very least not paying her enough attention.
We were sitting in a swank little chain style bistro restaurant and I was people watching. Hip young adults sat about sharing plates of appetizers, groups of guys watching the sports on the TV having a beer, couples were chatting alone in the establishments corner tables drinking wine, and one large table of six young women dressed for a night out, all made up, drinking cocktails fawned over one ladies child that sat with them in a stroller, all the while Top 40’s music blared forcing everyone to either talk loudly, or lean closely to one another to be heard. It was a typical late April Friday night sitting outdoors in the “Al Fresco” dining area, and the place was jumping. The wait staff attired in their particular chain issued uniforms scurried about with trays full of drinks and food orders trying to keep up clients requests.
We had been out walking on this beautiful evening trying to decide where we wanted to stop for a quick drink and a light snack and this place seemed to fit the bill, and judging from all the activity a locals favorite to do likewise. Her statement brought me back from my ruminations and a strange feeling took hold of me, and I’m not sure this has ever happened when I’ve been abroad. For a moment I had actually forgotten where I was. So alike was this scene to my home in the suburban United States that I had totally gone into some sort of a daydream watching the crowd that I had almost forgotten I was in Antalya Turkey and not the New Jersey shore.
Now I know resort towns are similar in many respects no matter where they are, and maybe we could be accused of gravitating to establishments and services just like the ones we have at home, but in this scenario that most definitely wasn’t the case, though I won’t lie I do get a kick out of occasionally visiting American institutions like Burger king or Starbucks in far off locales, but that’s more for entertainment purposes than for reasons of homesickness. Again my companion repeated her statement.
“Talk to me.”
“About what?” I replied in my patented response to this oft stated request.
“Anything!” she said starting to show her frustration.
“Well” I said, calculating how this next statement was going to go over.
“You know this is exactly the kind of place that terrorists and crazy fundamentalists love to blow to pieces just to make a point; you know to show everybody the evil of our ways.”
“Oh Steven, why do you have to say such things?” she questioned worriedly.
“Well you DID say talk about anything didn’t you?”
While my proclamation may seem a tad dramatic and exaggerated, I couldn’t help feel that it wasn’t ridiculously off the mark given precedents like Bali, Sharm-al-sheik and a few other quiet resort spots that have fallen victim to terror spawned violence, and while Turkey isn’t exactly a *Hot spot* for Al-Qaeda’s operations, the Turks haven’t been exactly immune from these types of acts either. While the odds were infinitely small it was a notion that while spontaneous in inspiration, had started to possess me with each additional moment I sat there drinking my tea.
With my last sip finished I looked at my friend and said, “Shall we meander elsewhere?” She looked at me with an expression that would be the equivalent of a big fat “Duh!”
Needless to say I didn’t have to ask her twice, then off we went to the local shopping mall.