Looking for suitable birthday presents is one of the things I love doing most. It gives one a reason to make or do something special. This however, becomes a little more complicated when you are on holiday.
Your friendship is quite possibly new and most likely, temporary in nature. So you take your hard-earned pocket money and hunt for a gift that will make someone smile and hopefully leave a long lasting impression.
The wounded party-animal
This afternoon our newly made friends decided to go the beach with their daughter. They hopped into a dolmuş, a small bus that takes you from the hotel to the beach and vice versa. The husband accidently shut the bus door on his wifes fingers. Thankfully her fingers were all in place and only bruised. Bruised or not, she will be celebrating her birthday tonight so it’s about time to buy or make a present.
The medicine man helps
As we head off into the city center to buy presents, I wander off alone and enter a herb shop. I explain that one of my friends has been injured as I imagine they sell relaxing or calming herbal tea. The shop owner opens a medical encyclopedia and studies the pages closely. Another man with bright blue eyes offers me a seat. I thank him and say I would like to browse around. The store is full of wind chimes (that I adore). The man repeats his question. Not understanding the reason for his insistence I ask politely, why?
The preparation of lettuce
He says ‘it has to be prepared’ and asks if my friend is around. I reply that she isn’t. A few seconds later the medicine man returns with two leaves of lettuce and a bag. My eyes betray my confusion immediately as I am unsure what to do with these ingredients. The medicine man says I have to make the leaves small, at best chew them, and put these on the hand. I ask him how much I owe him. He replies ‘nothing’ and so gratefully, I thank him. My present for this occasion: a story (and two leaves of lettuce).
Stories live on. Have you ever surprised anyone with a story?