Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Old Shoes

Istanbul. Our room with a view.
Recently, Husby and I made a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Istanbul.
A fantastic, astonishing, amazing, astounding, surprising, wonderful, beyond-our-wildest-imaginings trip.
I guess telling you we enjoyed it would be moot by this point.
We stayed in an old mansion (built in 1835) turned hotel in the old city, overlooking the Golden Horn and just down from the Galata bridge which marks the boundary between the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus Straight.
Husby studied the life of Suleiman, the Magnificent when completing his doctorate, so the area and the people and the architecture are very, very close to his heart.
We explored the old city. The mosques. The museums. The markets.
And it is this last that I wanted to talk about . . .
The markets in Istanbul are amazing. Crowds of people sandwiched and moving slowly between piles of goods. The scent of spices, roasted meat and corn, coffee, incense and perfume in the air.
I guess you can guess I loved it!
At the end of the day, the markets were closed. The people somehow stuffed the contents that had been spilling out into the narrow street back into their shops.
And the ‘blanket’ shops appeared in front of the stores.
Anywhere there was a sidewalk, these intrepid salesmen spread blankets and arranged piles of goods. It wasn’t unusual to see some man stripping off his shirt to try on one from the neatly-arranged stack before him. There were hardware supplies, kitchen utensils, food stuffs, knickknacks, leather goods, glassware. Everything you could imagine that could be easily carried and that someone could find useful.
But one man stood out from the rest.
Or rather, sat out from the rest.
An elderly man, we found him daily on his frayed, but spotless, blanket with pairs of used shoes spread neatly about him. Shoes meticulously cleaned and just as meticulously arranged.
Now to the rest of the story. My fellow traveller and good friend, Carol, and I had scoured the shops for a bargain on shoes. We had found one. And each purchased a pair.
Then Carol had the brilliant idea of taking our used shoes to our elderly salesman.
We did so.
Yeah. I’m, a follower.
He took them and looked them over. Testing the soles. Studying the uppers closely. Finally, he looked up at us and, through the kindly interpretations of the shopkeeper next to him, asked us our price.
“Oh, nothing,” Carol said, quickly. “We’re giving them to you.”
Then we saw the biggest smile we’d ever seen break over that seamed, elderly face. A smile with few teeth but lots of heart.
He got up and shook Carol’s hand. Then mine. Nodding and continuing to smile. Then he looked at Husby, who was wearing cream-coloured walking shoes, and pointed to his shoes. He then indicated his own well-worn, but still stout boots. His gesture was obvious. Trade?
Husby laughed and shook his head.
The salesman laughed, too and spread his hands in a ‘can’t hurt to ask’ gesture.
After that, whenever we walked past, he would greet us, his ‘Canadian friends’.
Now I don’t know what he could have gotten for our old shoes. A few lira perhaps.
But the funny thing? When I think of that amazing, stupendous trip, that is the experience that stands out the most.
I wonder why that is . . .

14 comments:

  1. Smiles and feelings of friendship always stand out the most.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So very heartwarming ... sniffling here ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry about the sniffles. But my job here is done! :)

      Delete
  3. You can so totally see it! And smell it...!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! It was such a special experience!

      Delete
  4. Istanbul is in the top 5 places I've always wanted to visit. Sounds like a fascinating trip. Beautiful descriptions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Laurie! I can't encourage you enough to visit. It was truly the trip of a lifetime! I LOVED it!

      Delete
  5. A completely unselfish thing to do always lives on in the mind when accompanied by such a smile as you received.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That smile was definitely all the payment we needed!

      Delete
  6. What a wonderful experience to take home from your trip - and what an amazing place to visit! My husband hates markets and people packed together - I love them and all the colours and smells.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I normally hate shopping, but I loved these markets! I could just spend my whole day wandering up and down the street!

      Delete

Thank you for visiting! Drop by again!

All of My Friends

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at Amazon.com and .ca and Chapters.ca and other fine bookstores.

Follow by Email

Hugs, Delivered.

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

Google+ Followers

Networked Blogs

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!
New Tween Novel!

Gnome for Christmas

Gnome for Christmas
The newest in my Christmas Series

SnowMan

SnowMan
A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.

Translate

My novel, Carving Angels

My novel, Carving Angels
Read it! You know you want to!

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic
What could be better than a second Christmas story?!

About the Mom

My photo

Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

Join me on Maven

Connect with me on Maven

Essence

Essence
A scientist and his son struggle to keep their earth-shattering discovery out of the wrong hands.

Essence: A Second Dose

Essence: A Second Dose
Captured and imprisoned, a scientist and his son use their amazing discovery to foil evil plans.

Looking for a Great Read?

E-Books by Diane Stringam Tolley
Available from Smashwords.com

The Babysitter

The Babysitter
A baby-kidnapping ring has its eye on J'Aime and her tiny niece.

Melissa

Melissa
Haunted by her past, Melissa must carve a future. Without Cain.

Devon

Devon
Following tragedy, Devon retreats to the solitude of the prairie. Until a girl is dropped in his lap.

Pearl, Why You Little...

Pearl, Why You Little...
Everyone should spend a little time with Pearl!

The Marketing Mentress

The Marketing Mentress
Building solid relationships with podcast and LinkedIn marketing

Coffee Row

Coffee Row
My Big Brother's Stories

Better Blogger Network

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis
I've been given an award!!!

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award
My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

Irresistibly Sweet Award
Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

Sunshine Award!!!

Sunshine Award!!!
My good friend Red from Oz has nominated me!!!

My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

Be Courageous!


Grab and Add!

Search This Blog

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?