You remember that I hadn’t f?n?shed tell?ng last n?ght’s story yet. On our arr?val at Izm?r we were taken d?rectly to d?nner at the Sultan Restaurant, owned by one of our hosts for the Izm?r sect?on of our tr?p, Izzet?n. The other major host ?s a young man also called Emre (just to confuse us). Emre Mk II has an execut?ve off?cer pos?t?on ?n a local organ?sat?on for the support of new bus?nesses. The organ?sat?on, l?ke everyth?ng other organ?sat?on we are v?s?t?ng ?n Turkey, ?s ?nsp?red by the values and ph?losophy of Fetullah Gülen. Several other young men jo?ned us as well–but the d?ff?culty soon became apparent: we could speak no Turk?sh and not one of them had any Engl?sh. Emre (OUR Emre) has been work?ng overt?me on th?s leg of the tr?p do?ng the ?nterpretat?on for us. When he had to leave the table for any reason, we attempted to get by on charades but rather unsuccessfully–then we just wa?ted for h?m to come back. Nevertheless th?s d?scuss?on was the most ?ndepth that we have had yet–espec?ally on quest?ons of ?mpress?ons of Turkey and of m?sconcept?ons we had of Turkey before com?ng here. One of the greatest d?fferences that was remarked upon ?s that wh?le Austral?a ?s a very mult?cultural soc?ety (w?th 1 ?n 4 c?t?zens born outs?de Austral?a) ?n Turkey the rat?o ?s more l?ke 1:50. Also there ?s the d?fference of populat?on. Izm?r alone ?s a c?ty of some 10 m?ll?on people–half the populat?on of Austral?a.
The food was excellent. Be?ng a restaurant we could chose for ourselves what we wanted off the menu, but that wasn’t much good as we couldn’t read turk?sh and d?dn,t know what the d?shes were ?f we could. So Emre (Mk I) ordered for us. I had tr?pe soup as ?t ?s a local del?cacy and I have never had tr?pe before. It was actually very n?ce.