The sky was dark and the breeze was generous, as we made our way to the uncertain mystery that lied ahead. Puddles silently filled the holes in the loose concrete, as people rushed past us with a hurried purpose. White moisture fell slowly from the sky, and quickly melted into our matching cotton attire. Quiet laughter filled the air, as we moved hastily to dry shelter, while trying to shield our delicate frames.
Upon first glance, the building appeared rundown. It resembled a small cottage on a quiet street, and likely served as a residential home at one point. The outside was overgrown with trees and mass amounts of dead foliage, that could only be caused from a harsh winter. We moved to the door with no apprehension, and were filled with an unspoken eagerness to embark on our newest discovery.
The inside was small, yet very quaint. Wood floors and tiny wood tables were scattered about, and each wall was filled to capacity with a variety of decor that had no theme or logistical pattern. What space was left, was occupied by large oversized plants, and of course….people.
We were met with smiling faces and pleasant voices, as we were directed to find a seat that suited our needs. We knew beforehand that we should always select the upstairs, for its amazing ambience. Though our eyes searched the place and each other with perplexity, we found our way to a small, two top table in the corner. It seemed perfect at first, and we immediately felt more at ease, knowing we had made our first real decision.
Distraction followed shortly thereafter, as I watched the first patron fill his coffee mug with sweetener, at the table directly behind my dining companion. I then watched in amazement, as the large ficus tree beside her seemed to consume what was left of her personal space. It grabbed delicately at her hair, and at the corners of her eyes and mouth as she attempted to talk, but she gently brushed it away, still pleasantly awaiting the thrill of this risky undertaking.
The cash register rang with each passing customer, and just so happened to be located directly behind my chair. Beside us, was a frequently used bathroom, where people didnt allow time for handwashing and where water ran constantly……
The menu seemed somewhat foreign to us, yet inviting. Dishes made with ingredients such as corn beef, salmon, capers, and herring were nowhere near our breakfast norms, but were still surprisingly intriguing, and seemed to be bellowing out our names for selection. It was difficult to make a decision, due partly to the interesting ingredients, and mostly due to the small amount of time we were given, prior to the waitress returning, in search of an answer.
Agreeing not to feel rushed in our experience, we excitedly sent her in search of our beverage needs, which was the main source of our intrigue to begin with. It wasnt just the cheap pitchers of mimosas that drew us into this establishment, but also the highly talked about Turkish coffee. It didnt matter if the reviews of this eatery were good or bad, the delightfulness of this coffee was a constant.
Though we werent certain why, and though it mattered none, the waitress appeared to make her best attempt to steer us away from this delicacy. We had to try it, because we already made future plans for a new adventure after this, provided the Turkish coffee was worthwhile….An adventure involving a lunch of ONLY Turkish cuisine, at a place that would never be considered a franchise, and can ONLY be viewed as authentic from the outside. This coffee was the answer to so many things….
…We were equally as reluctant to swallow the coffee, as the waitress was to fetch it. It was dark brown and foamy, with a strong unfamiliar aroma. The taste was bitter, and the aftertaste was worse. As we tried to add sweetener to liven it up, we noticed a large amount of thick black sludge at the bottom, making it impossible to stir in anything…..unless we wanted to disperse the sludge throughout our cups. It was difficult not to make a face at the end of each swallow, but we were determined to like it….even if it was a lie.
Laughter became more prevalent as we chased our tiny sips of Turkish coffee with large swallows of spruced up orange juice. We became comfortable with our surroundings, and accepted the atmosphere with open arms.
We settled on the corn beef hash, and finished with blueberry pancakes…. My companion became one with that tree….Though we never got refills of our coffee, we gagged and giggled through every sip we took…. We both became amazed and confused at the amount of people that frequented that bathrooom. That is….until we visited it ourselves, just prior to leaving.
….In the old clawfoot tub, just beside the toilet, was the city of Atlantis sunk just below sea level, with a beautiful fountain spewing out of the faucet. It resembled a giant fish tank, though there were NO fish…just a sunken city that smelled to high heaven……
Quiet laughter resumed as we reminded ourselves….this adventure is precisely what we predicted it to be…
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”
–Jawaharlal Nehru–(Indian Prime Minister. 1889-1964)