My adventure with Ashura

Ankara Travel Blog

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Normally during the day when I was alone in the apartment I didn't open the door for strangers.

However on one particular day I forgot my caution and open the door when I saw through the peephole that a woman was standing outside in the hallway. She was an older woman and she had in her hands a lunch tray with four bowls, three of which were filled with what looked to me like hot fruity oatmeal. I was confused to why this woman would be standing at our doorway and immediately assumed she had the wrong apartment, but then she began speaking to me in Turkish. Uh Oh I thought and I quickly respond with "cok Kuyuk Turkce konusiyorum" (i am speaking very little turkish) though not so elegantly I may add :P:P. That is when the ten minutes of hand charades and poor exchange of turkish and english occur between us.


I was 100 % certain that she was at the wrong apartment and it just didn't dawn on her yet. Meanwhile she was just as determined to give me a bowl full of the oatmeal looking stuff. I'm thinking to myself that I can't take this bowl from her. But she would hand me the bowl, I held it for a moment looked at her and gave it right back. And then she hands me back the bowl with a look of frustration, I smile and gave it back again. After a couple more times she stops and says "cup". Okay she wants a cup so I ran into the kitchen and returned to the doorway with a cup and a bowl of my own (I wasn't sure if she really meant cup or not). She charades for me to pour the contents from one of her bowls into mine. I'm still feeling a little odd about this and to be polite I poured half of the bowl's contents into my bowl. I didn't want to take all of it as I thought it would be "greedy" and I was still sure to why I was receiving the "hot fruity oatmeal" to begin with. Well my taking only some of the "hot fruity oatmeal" seemed to frustrate her even more so she took matters into her own hands by pouring the rest of the contents into my bowl and then quickly leaves as I called out "tesekkuler ve iyi gunlar" (Thanks and good day). haha I can only imagine what was going through her head!!!

The stuff looked delicious, but I thought for sure that she was going to return for it so I refrained from eating any. I have heard of people back home bringing food to new or ill neighbors, but Sem was not new to the apartment and by that time I was there for over a month. Neither one of us was sick and I got the impression that she didn't know who lived in the apartment.

Sem returned from work a few hours later and had shed some light to the whole situation. He explained that during Ashura (the anniversary of the death of Muhammad's grandson) it is common for the more religious women to make this dish which is also called Ashura and give it to neighbors.

We ate the Ashura after dinner and it was very tasty. It was kinda like oatmeal with nuts, berries, and orange bits.

traveller_2011 says:
happy to ready your nice experience:)
Posted on: Jun 26, 2013
esterrene says:
Posted on: Sep 08, 2009
dothoin says:
love the lentil soup you get in Turkey also ...delish
Posted on: Sep 08, 2009
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photo by: hardyrom