To this day I feel like the best holidays I ever had was a prolonged week I spent in Gaziantep, south-east of Turkey. Beside amazing company, great adventures and unforgettable memories, one thing that marked it the most was certainly the amount of food we've consumed during those days. It is UNESCO city of cuisine after all.
My friend was volunteering there for a month sometime before, and during her stay she was taking Arabic lessons from an English professor that ran from war in Syria. She was hoping to meet with him for the entire stay and even invited me along, but the chance never came.
On our last day another friend and I went discovering around the city to see and experience everything we've missed during our 10 day stay and when becoming hungry from all the walking around we've decided to get ourselves some nice baklavas. I still had a little money left, just enough for some sweets, and decided to spent it before we leave. However, we somehow couldn't find any shop selling sweets in the area where we were. After some more random strolling around we ran into our friends having tea with their Arabic professor in one of the fancier modern cafes. We were invited to join and upon giving our orders the idea of having something sweet just didn't leave my mind. So I went over to the bar and screened trough their dessert shelves until I chose myself a nice (and expensive) piece of cake. A round yellow lemon sponge.
We had a lovely chat, a fine refreshment, my cake was delicious, and as our gathering was coming to an end, while we were leisurely getting up still fully engaged in our conversation, the professor suddenly disappeared without anyone really noticing. Only once he was back and about to leave, we realized he actually went inside to settle our bill. For everybody, his former students and new acquaintances, including my cake. We thanked him dearly and parted our ways.
Me and the girls visited some shops, as one of them was interested in buying authentic gifts, while the other decided to look for some clothes which were much more affordable compared to the ones in London. While in the clothing store, as I was bored, an interesting jumpsuit caught the attention of my eye. So I decided to try it on while my friends were anyway in changing cabins. The price was low enough that I could still afford it with my money left over, the quality might have not been the greatest with all details put in mind, but the material was pleasant and design unique.
I walked out of a cabin right into my friend who was checking herself in the mirror, trying on something else, and as soon as she saw me in that dress, she showered me with compliments and insisted I should get it. As I really liked how it looked on me and it could also serve as a useful memory of this wonderful holiday, I decided to purchase it, spending whatever liras I have left.
I kept it on, walked out of the store and felt so special in this new ensemble that in elegant way resembled sexapil of a catsuit. My friends and I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon, soaking in the last impressions of the city and beautiful, warm, sunny weather before our return back to London.
Only later, much much later, I've realized what I've actually done. Dress was purchased with my last money and I would certainly not go to exchange any just to get it. I was very gladly ready to spend it on a baklava or some other sweet treat, and the only way I was able to afford to buy the dress, was because the professor paid for my cake. And the only reason professor was there, was because he ran from the war. If it wouldn't be for the war, he wouldn't be there, he wouldn't have bought me a dessert and I'll never be able to buy my new dress. And just like that I realized I actually become a war beneficiary. It wasn't on purpose, it wasn't planned, it was without any evil intentions in the background, but still, I am one of those terrible people who managed to profit from the war.
Gaziantep, April 2018