Skip to content

Capitalize “he said” after a quote ending in an exclamation or question?

June 8, 2015

Back to Billings, Montana, USA, from Istanbul, Turkey, today, spaced-out and discombobulated because of the long hours flying and the altered day-night. You know, “jet lag.”
I loved Istanbul. I found the people there to be damned nice. They treated me gently, kindly, and in a friendly way. These were the people who worked on our street in the popular electrical supply district. A parking garage, “Otopark,” staffed 24 hours, was across the street. One block away at Galata Tower, a tourist destination, people treated me in an arms-length, impersonal way, mostly. A half-dozen blocks away at Karakoy tramvay station impatient people didn’t make eye contact unless they were hustlers. Many thousands pass Karakoy Tramvay station, where I was scammed.
Being victimized stung for days, two. I thought about what I should have done, different scenes. What happened?
A man we met at the top of the subway stairs dropped his shoeshine brush, so I snatched it, handed it over. He was glad, even ecstatic. He offered a shoe shine. “Here! I give you shoe shine!” he said.
“Please! Baba!” he pleaded. I didn’t know what “baba” meant, but it sounded good. He refused coins while telling me that his son needs surgery. In the end I gave him 20 Turkish lira. (Susanna said one of her friends gave 60 to someone else.}
Next time I’ll give the brush a good kick! I thought. Next time I’ll grab the brush and make him pay me to get it back. Next time I’ll keep the brush. I’ll shine my shoes on his butt! I fantasized. Take that! I mused.
I did none of that when another guy dropped his brush on the street a few blocks away. I just ignored it and the guy returned for it.
That was the only incident. I felt safe in Istanbul, even when I stopped by for a shave and haircut about 100 ft from the door or our apartment. I can’t even pronounce the name of our street, much less remember it. The barbershop “Formen” was in a kind of daylight basement on a corner and I was his only customer. He had 3 chairs. He sat me facing the mirror. My hair is short. He asked me “two?” I nodded. He selected number 2 plastic device for his electric clippers and mowed front to back near the center. I watched myself nearly smile and I said, “yes.”
Whenever he finished a section I encouraged him to be more exacting by finding imaginary flaws and inconsistencies. He was meticulous, shaving the front of my neck with a straight razor that turned out to be a replica with a razor blade in it, box-cutter style. A real professional.
I thought I’m worth more to him alive. After all what would he do with my body if he slit my throat with his box cutter?
I visited him twice in 10 days. He even burnt the hair off my large ears the 2nd time.
I visited Mitten the Turkish carpet salesman twice. A couple blocks from the Grand Bazaar. He was nice man. Treat me very well! I had tea the first visit and Scotch (blended, a good variety) the 2nd. We bargained and dickered over the price of pillowcases made from Killan wool carpets. I criticized the ones with stains or mends or patterns I didn’t like. I could tell Mitten liked that. After all, he is a professional! In the end I bought pillowcases for everyone. He wanted to give me a rug but I declined. “I have no friends, just relatives,” I explained. He put the pillowcases in a sports bag. An old one, and I departed, catching up with my family as we hiked down the street in a downpour. River of water, river of people, like refugees in the photo from the War of Spain.
161997060631836

Advertisements

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: