|The garden of the inn, as seen from my window|
The initial discussion over, we were released to wait in the garden. O.'s mother drew some of the red liquid into goblets for us. "It is sherbet," she told us. "Something sweet and cool." Punch, I thought, and took a sip.
It was not punch. At least, it was not a fruit punch. Everyone was taken aback by the intensity of the flavor. It tasted of cinnamon and... something else, something harsher and less sweet. Weeks later, we looked up the translation of the Turkish word. Cloves. This was essentially a clove tea, beautiful to look at, especially in the crystal glasses it was served in, but too strong for me to enjoy, like drinking incense.
After a few minutes, we were given keys and led through a garden of roses and luxurious greenery to our rooms. Later, S. and I were to discover tortoises roaming through the roses, confident enough in their shells to defend their territory against us interloping humans. One of them bit my toe when I blocked his way. They were oddly self-conscious though, and would stop munching on weeds when they noticed us staring at them.
|S. with tortoise|