At the Grand Bazaar, I was looking at some old copper and silver jewelry, when the shop keeper offered me tea or apple tea. As part of my attempt to take it easy and talk to people, I asked him what apple tea is. He said it’s a Turkish tea. Intrigued, I said I would try it. When it came, I realized that it’s essentially what we call apple cider (what an improvement on all of this tea being drunk!) The shopkeeper and I exchanged pleasantries. He was astonished that I live in Kabul, and I learned that he is an Afghan, who has only been in Istanbul for the past 10 months. I was excited to show off my limited Dari with him and to hear how he came to Istanbul, since it’s fairly difficult for Afghans to get visas. (At more than one time, I’ve learned that someone I interact with (like a guard or driver) has lived in other countries as an illegal alien for awhile before returning to Afghanistan because it is too difficult &/or boring there, where they can’t work and are away from family.) The shopkeeper told me that he is staying with his brother, who has another shop in the bazaar and has been living and working in Istanbul with his family for the past 10 years. Then he introduced me to his nephew, who I learned is 7 years old and more than happy to correct me on my pronunciation of colors in Dari.

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