Pay It Baklava

, , , , , , | Hopeless | October 24, 2018

During my first two years at university, money was extremely tight and I got very good at scrimping. Occasionally for a treat, my then-partner and I would stop in at the kebab shop near our unit. The Turkish man who owned and operated the shop would always smile and chat with us, telling us all about his childhood, his family, or his long-running restaurant — a very classy and highly-recommended Turkish restaurant about half an hour’s drive away. He would always say he’d opened his kebab shop so he’d get to talk to “regular people” again. His kebabs were delicious, and he would always give us baklava to go with our food, telling us that he needed feedback to make sure that his recipe adjustments were good. It remains the nicest baklava I have ever eaten.

It took ten years for me to realise that he never needed feedback; every poor student or lonely soul who came through his shop got free dessert, with a ready excuse on hand as to why he gave it away. Thank you, sir; those early years out of home were very often a struggle for me, and you always had a smile, a chat, and a sweet treat for someone who was struggling.

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