As soon as I was diagnosed with pneumonia, friends came to the rescue with food. My Turkish girlfriends who were amazing in keeping me well fed after I delivered my son over two years ago did the same for me when I was sick. Back then it struck me as interesting because often in the US there are many people who think, "oh they probably just want to be alone so they can adjust", grieve or do whatever it is the situation calls for. In Turkey it seems the motto is "you must eat". It's nice and very thoughtful. In the US we often do not ask for help. In Turkey, help comes whether you want it or not - its insisted upon and could be insulting to refuse it in some cases.
So while I was sick, my close Turkish girl friends gave me all kinds of support that I really appreciate so very much. My friend Yonca made soup for me. Sick or not, I love soup and would never refuse it - unless tripe soup or something meat based. In her incredibly busy life of raising two kids, a full time job, writing a column, training for a race, moderating the Turkish women's group in Dubai and a slew of other things, she took the time to make soup for me.
She called when she arrived, but I didn't answer as I fell asleep while putting Erin to sleep. A common thing in the last several weeks because I was too exhausted to stay awake. So, she sent Sarper a message that she left soup by the door. When he came back from the gym, there was no soup....hmmm...very odd.
He called her, said there was no soup. She was certain she left it there. She has visited us several times so surely she couldn't have left it in the wrong place. I checked later, but still no soup. Sarper spoke to her again and we then realized she left it in front of the wrong door. It was left at our neighbor's house. However, by then it was around midnight or so and too late to go knock on their door to request it back. I was a wee bit disappointed because I would have loved some warm soup! I was really looking forward to it for the next day.
We knocked on their door a couple of times and there was no answer...so disappointing. I was too sick to knock on their door again for a couple of days to see what happened and Sarper was traveling. When I finally merged, I looked out in the hallway only to find all of Yonca's containers bagged up and empty! Odd. She had also left some honey with the soup, but there was no honey. Even more perplexing.
The next day Yonca brought a new batch of soup - to the correct apartment. It was incredibly good! I gave her back the empty containers and we were both in disbelief that they just left the empty containers outside. Furthermore she wrote a note with it addressed to me and listed all the ingredients. Knowing that Erin is diabetic and we have to carb count everything, she even took the time to do all this. She also signed it with her personalized four leave clover stationary (which is what her name means in Turkish). You would think this would be a true trigger for the neighbor that the soup was not intended for them.
I had knocked a few times to get the honey, but no answer. I must admit I don't know all of my neighbors that well. Some we do, but other apartments you rarely see anyone entering or exiting. And I'm just not that nosy anyway to really follow other's comings and goings.
But man, I really wanna know what happened to my soup!! If someone left food at your door and you didn't know who it was from, would you eat it? I wouldn't! If you did eat it, would you be bold enough to put the empty containers back outside and wait for the new food service to pick it up? I wouldn't do that either! And if it was addressed to someone or not, I would go around and knock on a few doors to see if anyone was missing any soup!
The following day I resurfaced to take out the trash. I saw a guy going to the elevator that I didn't recognize so much so I decided to ask. Yes, he lived there. He was aware there was soup left, but didn't share any information of its were abouts. I asked him about the honey. He didn't know so had to call his roommate to ask where he kept it. He presented the honey. He was at least kind enough to say he hoped I was feeling better. At that point I decided to drop the pneumonia card. I figure in case they did eat it a little bit of guilt won't hurt. I haven't seen them since.
Now I'm no rocket scientist, but I'm thinking two single guys - they ate the soup. I can see Joey and Chandler on Friends eating anything that was left at their door. - Especially Joey. He'd finish it off before Chandler would be home. But just as we will never know who shot JFK, we will probably never know the real truth.
A few days after that my friend Aysen called me because she was also coming by to bring me soup. Yeah! More soup. And pumpkin, which is one of my favorites. She and her daughter arrived with lovely flowers, strawberries and some kind of chocolate that was in the shape of Pringles - they were so good - but no soup.
Aysen set the soup out for it to thaw. She left and when she came back home to get the soup to bring it to me it was gone! Her maid threw it away!!
I don't know what is up with me and soup, but I guess I just wasn't destined to have any during my recovery. But thank you very much my friends for your hard work and efforts!!