One of the most refreshing drinks that I have ever had (after the Indian ‘cutting chai’) is the Turkish çay.
Pronounced as ‘chai’, the Turkish çay is black tea consumed without milk. In most parts of turkey, you will often find locals huddled up, catching up on a glass of çay, a smoke and a game of Okey (a Turkish board game). Men, Women, youngsters, couples – everyone sips up on their favorite glass of çay… It’s almost the national drink of Turkey!
And like it is many countries, çay can help brew up many conversations..
Once at Selcuk (Western Turkey), çay helped strike a conversation between my then 3 year old daughter and a senior gentleman at this café – they caught up on a chat for almost 30 minutes! He spoke Turkish and she Hindi – neither understood each other’s language – but they had, what we thought, a very meaningful conversation. He even helped her with coloring sketches in her book. Like they say, a smile and some tea – can help you connect with anyone in any country!
Through our 20 odd day stay in various parts of Turkey, we had çay every single day – 5-6 times a day..! I close my eyes and can still get a whiff of the aroma & flavor … I think I am going to sign off now and go get me some ‘chai’.
|A refreshing cup of çay|
|Catching up over a cup of çay - at a park in Selcuk|
|Some çay, smoke and a game of Okey - opposite the roman aqueduct, Selcuk|
|My daughter & the Turkish gentleman catching up on a conversation at a local cafe|
|My daughter's new 'friend' helps her color her sketch book|