Determined to seek truth and attempting to see the world as it is, I have endeavored to create a series of mini interviews with people I meet on the street. I will be posting them every week or so as I connect with people I don’t know around the world.
We met at a coffee shop in NYC when he approached me and said something to me in Turkish. Instead of shying away from connection, as I often do, I took a leap and responded openly…”I’m not Turkish, are you?” “Where are you from?” etc.
He agreed to answer some questions on camera and then we discussed some of his answers in further depth. Here is what he had to say:
He asked me where I was from and told me that the eyes gave away something of a common background- hence the attempt at engaging me in Turkish. We ended up talking for hours. We were so engrossed in conversation that we completely forgot to ask each other’s name…sometimes that happens.
He is Kurdish from Turkey and moved here 7 years ago. He owns his own business and used to sell traditional Turkish art. We discussed the process of learning a language and the meaning of culture. I learned about Bikram Yoga, he teaches classes down the street, and that its possible to love and embrace a life that is not the one you thought you’d have.
He told me he once locked himself up for a couple of months playing the same English movie over and over again until he learned every word after a trip to the post office in which he could not express himself after years of studying the language.
He told me about what it was like to move to the United States at 22 years old after working in Turkey from the age of 12 and what the experience being Kurdish was like. He also expressed great, contagious, enthusiasm for the opportunities he has experienced in New York and his desire to make his home here.
Most importantly, we talked about why love is very important…
Before I knew it 2.5 hours or so had passed.
New York, I’m still not used to you, but I have faith that we will become great, if brief, friends.
À toute à l’heure!
The Liberated Polyglot