Various errands took me 10 blocks up Broadway, rather than my usual 10 blocks down Broadway, and I stopped for vegetables at a stand familiar to me. But the usual Hispanic young man was not there. A handsome young Middle Eastern youth stood there, quite friendly looking.
“Hello!” I greeted him, “how are you?”
“God is good” he replied with a smile. His ethnic looks, accent, and Marlboros led me to believe his god is Allah. Ok.
I picked up some bananas, “4 for $1”, some big red peppers and cukes. Then onions. He knew the price of everything but his English was very limited.
“Do you have carrots?”
With a bewildered look he replied, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand much English”. Ok.
He collected my peppers, onions, bananas, and cucumbers and gave me the total, “$8.75. One more banana?” He asked, to make it an even $9.00.
Sure! Then I had to ask,
“Where are you from?”
“I am from Turkey!”, he said with a smile.
After a slight heart cringe I asked, “What do you think of your president Erdogan?”
“He is good I think”.
“Well, you should tell him to treat Armenians better.”
The same bewildered look came upon him, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand…”
“That’s ok”, and I knew in the Lord that it was. I handed over the $9.00.
I took my bags and raised up my hand, saying the few Turkish words I know.
The young man’s face beamed with a smile, and he gave a high two thumbs up!
I called him friend.