January 4, 2012

Kadiköy, Istanbul. June, 2007

Meet John Travolta. Well, not really. But before I went to Istanbul the first time and was engaged in my travel research, I found an online site in which a young woman had mentioned a certain waiter at Çiya, the wonderful restaurant on the Asian side of the city. She had written that his co-workers jokingly referred to him as Travolta...and it caught on. Sure enough, when Nick and I arrived one afternoon, there he was. And when we greeted him by “name,” he was all smiles and became our waiter for the afternoon, suggesting dishes, bringing us samples of things...including this complimentary pillow-like bread. Fortunately “John” knows a little English, a bit more than I know Turkish, just enough to figure out what would be the ideal selection for us. And when we returned a few days later, there he was again, ready to do the same. The perfect host, he even let us take his picture. (And he remembered me when Jay and I returned in October, 2011, showing us to a coveted outdoor table and another excellent meal.)

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