A Smile

Each morning at a little after 7, whether it is rain, or hail, or shine, I watch a little old lady passes by my front door.  I do not know her name, I do not know where she lives, all I know is that our front door forms part of her morning constitutional.

When I see her I always smile and call out, “Gunaydin”.  She has never acknowledged me.  She has never wished me a good morning or even glanced in my direction, she merely makes her way past my front door as part of her usual morning routine.  She walks slowly but with purpose. Some mornings I see she is walking with difficulty but today I noticed she has a new appendage to help her on her constitution – a cane.  She seemed a little more sure of her step this morning but she still did not wish me a good morning when I waved at her from my terrace.

It is difficult to win over the old ladies in the village.  After their initial curiosity of the yabanci amongst them I have generally been ignored.  A few teyzer will say good morning and one or two of them will even ask me to join them for çay but on a whole I am left alone these days.  That suits me fine.  I am happy in my solitude and it gives me more time to write.

I do wonder, however, what I have to do to win this little lady over.  A smile, that is all I am asking for.  Maybe tomorrow.



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13 thoughts on “A Smile

  1. When I was in South Korea, there was this woman whom I passed on my way to get coffee on a regular basis. We would try to say a few things to each other, but the language barrier was pretty strong. Still, I felt she was a small amount of company during my mostly solitary days.


      • Totally! I am just starting to teach and I am looking for those small little victories to carry me through. As my office mate has wisely told me, “Strive to do one thing every day and that’s it. The rest is bonus.”


  2. Everyone in our village is friendly except the old lady in the corner of our lane. She’s resısted my hellos for 22 years. I often wonder what I did when I first arrived that made her decide to never acknowledge me.


  3. I second B2B, here in Okçular all of our old ladies (Yaşlı Çinarlar – Old Plane Trees (which applies to old men as well)) are a jolly, jocular delight to be around. It took a while but everyone soon realised that when I waved and smiled at their daughters I wasn’t going to run off with them! keep working at it – when the ‘front’ finally dissolves a lot more will open up too.


  4. Village life can be inclusive or exclusive. I have lived in 3.
    In the first, apart from those in the immediate area, there was little acknowledgment of my existance.
    In the second, for years I was known as the girl who played the piano in the pub.
    In the last, we were known as ‘Them wot wave, with the black and white dog’. It did however take a considerable while for the farmers to acknowledge us, but we eventually wore them down to the extent that they would wave first!
    Here, our community is afloat.
    After just a few weeks, we are getting to know names (I’m keeping a log book actually) and people are getting to know ours. Everyone smiles and speaks on passing, many stop to pass the time of day.
    You’ll get your smile. 🙂


  5. A field that adjoines our farm is owned by an old guy who flattly refuses to accept I exist at all. I can say hello to his face, shout or probably pee on his tractor and he still would be blissfully unaware of me. Found out he’s just like that to everyone, so I now wave even more wildly at him, just to wind him up.


  6. Here everyone talks at the baker’s. Everyone goes to buy bread. We are really fortunate to have a traditional baker just down the street. All the people I see every morning are happy to discuss whether the bread is still hot.


  7. Beautiful smile in your image — I think that’s the one of your loved Mother-in-law that you posted soon after she passed? She represents a great generation; I hope the others welcome you soon, if only with just a smile.


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