Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010 - 1 comment

Strangers in a Downpour

I love the communal aspect of a good storm.

In Istanbul, it means a well-choreographed dance down the street, everyone dependent on everyone else to raise and lower their umbrellas at the appropriate moment so as not to gouge out any eyes.* Fogged-up ferry windows obscure the gray Bosphorus as 1500 strangers are unified in their state of soakedness and their need for a steaming cup of tea. Last week, on more than one occasion, the foreboding rumble of thunder sent me running to grab my laundry from the line, and I was amused to look out on the surrounding apartments and see a dozen other women doing the same. And here, on vacation with my mom in Kapadokya, we shared in the joy of a torrential downpour last night. With the power out and the sky falling, we rounded up some candles and enjoyed the storm from our pansiyon room window. When the rain showed no sign of letting up, we scrapped our dinner plans (no electricity in town, either) and headed upstairs to the terrace to huddle with the other guests around the woodstove and watch as the lightning lit up the unearthly Kapadokyan landscape. The chef had grilled fish for some other guests and kindly set us up with the extra food, and just as we lifted our forks, the power came back on. I almost asked him to turn the lights back off cuz we'd been excited to dine by candlelight!

Rain is a great equalizer. No matter who you are - rich or poor, student or businessman, tourist or local, getting caught in the rain is getting caught in the rain. Unless you have a generator, a car or a glass bubble you walk around in, it soaks you to the bone and interrupts your plans and offers an opportunity for unexpected delight and unforseen friendship.

*R.J. - "The Umbrella Dance"


Just another example of one of the things I love about you – your ability to spot the beauty in the ordinary and point it out so eloquently to the rest of us.

P.S. Also liked the use of the word "equalizing" – wasn't that a mildly OCD childhood habit of yours?