Turkish chai (çay)
Yesterday I was at a Turkish pharmacy off-Base. Do I want chai? I wish I did because I can tell they are disappointed and confused when I say I do not. More often than not, they bring me some anyway. Surely they heard wrong. What person would not accept the offer for chai? So they bring me one. And I feel bad. So I take it. And then they ask me why I am not drinking it. And then I have to say it's because I don't like it.
Rana taught me how to say I didn't want it in Turkish. That I don't like it. That I never drink chai. But even telling them in Turkish doesn't seem to make sense to the Turks. Not drink chai? Ever? What IS wrong with me? The truth is, I don't like the flavor of tea at all. And in fact, I don't like the flavor of coffee either. And another fact is that I really don't like warm drinks very much. I can drink some cider and hot chocolate is tolerable. But even then, I'd rather have a glass of water.
Okay, so anyways. And then there is Turkish delight. (Surely those of you C.S. Lewis fans remember this from Narnia?) Turkish delight is something I can eat. It's not terrible. But I don't really like it. I have found that, in fact, many Americans don't care much for it so this isn't as unusual. But I still find myself eating a piece of candy that just doesn't taste that good most places I go. It's not as frequently offered as the chai. But it's still there. And liking it would make my life a whole lot easier.
So there you have it. A bit of Turkish culture and how easy it is to not fit into it just by being born without liking the teaste of tea.