It was 5:15 pm and I was standing in my doorway balancing my bicycle in one hand and trying to shut my apartment door with the other when my phone rang. Here is the conversation:
Her: Merhaba Penny. My daughter and I will come to your house tonight.
Me looking back at the dirty dishes piled in the sink, the stacks of paper on my tables, the lack of food in the house: What time?
Her: I don't understand.
Me: Ne saat( what time)?
Her: 7 or 8
Me: OK ($&@!.)
Her: We don't need dinner.
Me to myself: Thank God because it never even occurred to me to ask and I certainly couldn't cook it because I can't even cook for myself.
Me to her: OK see you.
Her: Gule Gule.
I rolled my bicycle back into my apartment, quickly washed the dishes, grabbed the piles of papers and stuffed them in my bedroom, and headed back out the door to run the errands I'd originally planned: printer ribbon, some food for dinner, and now some baklava to go with the copious amounts of tea they would drink.
I returned home at 6:45 and decided to cook dinner hoping they were leaning more towards an 8 pm arrival.
At 7:15 they called and asked me to buzz them in. I swallowed the last bite of salmon, started the water for tea, put on my slippers and located a few extra pairs of slippers. The kitchen was still a mess.
We exchanged our Turkish hugs and kisses and I ushered them into the living room where she presented me with some homemade chocolate cake, (my first in Turkey) and a beautiful hand painted scarf. I still don't understand the last minute self invitation but it did turn out to be a fun evening. Plus the cake and scarf were nice added bonuses....