As she chopped vegetables, simultaneously preparing four dishes for the ten people she had invited to our flat for improvised music and dinner that evening, Kebire told me the story of how she scared a man with a gun.
“We were walking. Asli (her daughter) was little. Maybe 10. We were on one street and nobody was there. Then one man came. He pointed one gun at us and said, ‘Give me your bag.’ I ran toward him with my hands out like claws screaming—Why you make this in front of my daughter and scare her??? I will eat you!!! And he ran away. Ha ha ha ha ha!”
It’s a true story.
Kebire my dearest Turkish friend is a fierce Black Sea women. Big of heart. Big of spirit. Generous. Afraid of nothing. A mama bear. A child of the socialist days of protest.
It is Kebire who accompanied me to my appointment at the Taksim Ilk Yardim Hastanesi today.
My appointment was for 9:30 but we first needed to first pick up a receipt and pay.
Like Moses parting the Red Sea, Kebire cleared a path to the registration desk. Talking to everyone in line, she immediately learnt the correct destination and steered me where I needed to go. At 9:45 I entered the doctor’s cubby hole of an examination room. He wrote a paper designating an ultra sound and some blood tests. We exited the hospital at 10:30. I paid the equivalent of $40 for an examination, blood tests and an ultra sound.
By the time we exited, Kebire had lodged a formal complaint concerning the necessity of a screen that would allow all patients to view which patient’s examination was next in line. She had helped a seriously obese woman in pain by getting her a slip for an immediate appointment. And had talked to at least twenty people on various topics.
I return in one week to discuss the results of my tests with the doctor. Alas, I’ll have to go without Kebire.