Micro Moments That Matter

Quick to Let Down

You know those things you can eat a million of?  Well, this is it for me.  Simit.  For those of you that don’t know – this is sort of like the Turkish take on the beer pretzel.  The glutens in the dough are meticulously kneaded and twisted until the perfect elasticity is achieved.  It is then dunked in grape molasses, rolled in sesame seeds, and baked. And when ready;  The aroma.  The crust that crunches to reveal a fluffy, subtly sweet inside.  Each sesame seed explodes between your teeth to form a nutty tahina that melds it all together.

I ate 2-3 a day for four weeks during my stay in Turkey.  We are talking 70+ simits consumed. And then not a single one for four years…

… until yesterday.

I discovered that the humble simit had made its way across the pond and found its way to my neighborhood.

A Lie Betrays the Fearful

A Turkish cafe had recently opened a just a few blocks away.  Imagine my delight when I noticed their advertising board on the sidewalk showing among other goodies – simit! So yesterday morning  I decided to pay them an early visit and hopefully get my hands on some of that delicious pastry before it sells out for the day.

I struck up a conversation with a young guy who turned out to be the owner.  We talked about his country, where he’s from, his new life in Canada.  He seemed amicable enough, like a friendly neighbor that would actually help, and not just say “Hi How are Ya” – kind of like in the old country.

I then asked him about his simit.  Are they fresh?

He hesitates for a moment.  I can tell he quickly weighed his response.
Yup.  They’re F..F..Fresh.

Just Don’t Do It

I ordered 2 more simple, small pastries with the simit – $12, but whatever I was happy to support a small business owner.  I paid, thanked him, and said I’ll come by again soon.

As I walked home, excited for the breakfast we were about to have – I noticed a peculiar feeling – the bag I was carrying felt cold against my leg.  Huh?

I pull the simit out of the bag to reveal that they were still half frozen.  As I squeezed the other 2 pastries they crumbled easily the way a stale shortbread cookie would.

Son of a…

Don’t be Afraid.  Own the Truth

It was precisely during that awkward micro-moment that this shop owner failed to solve the social equation he attempted in his head.  Perhaps he didn’t have enough time to do the full calculation, and as a result, blurted out the wrong answer.  

It doesn’t matter. He failed. There won’t be a make-up test.

It was fear that made him entertain the false answer knowingly – I have no doubt about that.  Perhaps he feared not making the sale that day.  The store had an air of desperation about it.  There were relatively few wares offered, and besides, how many times can you dupe people into repeatedly buying a handful of stale, relatively unknown foreign food products?

He could have been honest. 

He could have just said, “Hey man, I’m just starting out – so I can’t afford to have fresh pastries every day.  These simit were frozen as soon as they got them.  Just pop them in the toaster for two minutes and they’ll be awesome!”

I would have respected the hell out of an answer like that.
And the truth is – simit are pretty awesome even toasted.
I would have bought them anyway!

Fish monger in front of stall.
Haggling with fish monger in Alanya.

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