'Burası Türkiye!' 'This is Turkey!'


‘Serendipity’ – an unexpected and pleasurable outcome. Serendipity is a nice word and it amply describes what happened for J and I yesterday. Our Turkish ‘son’ has a pretty high-powered job within the government bureaucracy and he and his delightful wife get moved about the country quite a lot.

A’s wife, A, is a teacher (confusing, isn’t it?) and loves to pick up the reins whenever she can. So it was that she invited us to her class in one of the most deprived areas of their very large town. It seems unbelievable to me, but she assured us that none of the kids had ever seen or met with ‘an English’ before and that some of them harboured some very strange notions about what would happen to them if they ever did!

J holding class

J had gone on ahead and, being an ex-teacher with a natural affinity with kids, was quickly in the thick of it. A had come to meet me and preceded me into the  classroom, as I peered around the door the kids jumped to their feet and cheering and greetings were flying in all directions. I have never been cheered in such a way before; it felt amazing. After the excitement died down there was a question and answer session and when the children asked and were told how old we were the compliments (or was it flattery?) flowed thick and fast – I think both of us felt younger by the minute!

I have to admit to not being much enamoured of kids; as a general rule I treat them like plague carriers and sidle off around the next corner. These youngsters, aged around ten to eleven, were enchanting to be with; curious, polite, serious, engaged with us. It was a great experience. When they realised it was my birthday in a few days I was treated a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’; and the icing on the birthday cake? as J and I left the classroom a group of four little lads came over to me and gave me a collective hug. Can you believe that? I couldn’t! This old grump felt all paternal, not to mention warm and fuzzy to boot.

So, thank you kids! Thank you for being so nice; most of all, thank you for being human and not being shy in expressing it. I’ll carry these memories for a very long time.  Serendipity, indeed!

A&J (still not in Okcular)

a distraction in class
the fool at the back

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6 thoughts on “Serendipity!

    1. It is, isn’t it Carole. We had such a nice time and a lot of fun. The staff have tried really hard to spruce the place up and our ‘son’ got hold af a government grant for paint which is why it looks so bright. What I forgot to mention in the post was that their teacher Ayfer told them that we will be buried in Okcular when we pop our clogs – the response was very interesting as ALL of the kids got to their feet and thanked us! Very moving.

    1. Jack, it was fabulous! Our local kids know us very well and when we visit school it is normal that they come, boys and girls, hold our hands and talk. In the school in Karabuk we were strangers and to experience the collective hugging was something else. It’ll stay with me for sure.
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