Çay, lifesaver and bridge builder

Of a hot drink whose significance goes far beyond that of common tea.


Since we arrived in Turkey, Çay, as tea is called here, has become a faithful companion on our journey. They are everywhere, these tea kettles, some homemade, some elaborately crafted from copper. However, this term does not go far enough here, because tea making has a long tradition here. This hot drink is an integral part of everyday life and can be found on every corner. In restaurants, with the workers in the forest, at every petrol station and of course in the ever-popular tea rooms.

So we too enjoyed a fresh Çay time and again. After meals, of course, but also at the roadside when we were stopped by friendly people. Even though conversation was sometimes difficult due to our rather limited knowledge of Turkish, drinking Çay is always possible! Beyond that, however, it became a real lifesaver for us, especially during the cold days. More than once we escaped the cold for a short moment in a petrol station along the road. No matter how small and simple it was, there was always a plastic chair and, above all, hot tea! What a relief to be able to tackle the next section so strengthened. During the cold days we drove from Çay to Çay.

And then there were the aforementioned tea rooms. On sunny afternoons, the male half of the village gathers there to chat, play, smoke and drink Çay. In the midst of all these men, Sara was even more of an exotic than we already were. Nevertheless, it was always entertaining to sit down with them.

Now we have arrived in Iraq and here, too, tea is served regularly. The artfully curved glasses have meanwhile given way to small paper cups and the sugar is now already generously added by the hosts. But we continue to enjoy it, our Çay.