A curious caravanserai of notoriety and nonsense, poetry and prophecy.

Hoca: my new favorite light reading

Today was a phenomenal and absolutely exhausting day, but it started out leisurely. Dornuki, Emma and I enjoyed an amazing breakfast of rice water, fried bread and steamed cabbage, and then split to get ready to go to the main market in Tema (Community 1).

It took awhile to reconnoiter and gather all the troops, so we didn’t set off until about 11:45am. During which time I, who had decided not to bath and was bringing nothing but my wallet, blissfully read my new favorite book, the hilarious fables of the legendary Turk, Nasrettin Hoca.

I originally picked up an English-translation collection of Hoca stories at Saman Chauldhry’s house in Dubai, and fell in love with their tongue-and-cheek, practical and yet utterly absurd humor.

Hoca has been the iconic comic and satirical figure of the Turkish oral tradition since the 13th century. “His anecdotes represent the solutions that the collective imagination of the Turks has brought to bear upon life’s diverse and complex problems.” (Foreword to my book.)

I love the stories because they are uproariously funny while also insightful and instructive about life, and Turkish culture in particular. Here are a few of my favorites:



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