Posted by: mollyscafeistanbul | April 3, 2011

Gifts at Molly’s Cafe

The other day I was out running errands and when I came back a customer had come in and left me some daisies and a note. So now they are in a vase and I am reminded of the many gifts that other customers have brought to me.




In another post I wrote about the many things that people gave me when I was first setting up the café– dishes, pots, decorations. As time has gone on, other customers have brought me various things.






One customer is a French diplomat who comes to Istanbul from time to time and always comes to my café. He is posted in Saudi Arabia, so last time he came he brought me a very nice box of dates. There were two kinds, soft and sweet ones and harder ones. I ate and shared the softer ones and used the other ones in date squares.





Another customer is Canadian but lives in Holland. I have been giving him advice on buying a flat here, so when he comes to town he brings me wonderful wine from a vineyard he worked at in France last year. I share that with close friends.






Last year a student brought me a huge Vermeer copy painting he had done, so that I framed and hung in the back salon. Another guy brought me a poster from the 1800s that had been digitally extended to make it poster size, so that too I had framed and hung in the entryway.






Last year a Canadian friend gave me a large photo he had taken when he went to Hudson Bay, which if you think of the map of Canada, is the big bite out of the north part. The photo shows the Arctic gray on the gray water as the people sit in a big wide canoe with a rather despondent native woman facing the camera. At first I wondered where on earth I would hang another piece, but it fits well, especially with a smaller Inuit piece hung above it.






Last year Joao Paulo Nasri had a short exhibit here of his photos and he gave me one of his photos which reminds me very much of a customer who comes every day and reads while he eats lunch.






The other day Selcuk Altun stopped in with a stack of his latest novel, set in Galata. He signed one for me especially and then signed the others with instructions that they were to be given to book lovers, so that is another gift that kept on giving. I won’t read the book, unfortunately, because it is in Turkish and my reading Turkish is not that good and I am too busy (read: lazy) to undertake it. It is being translated now, so I hope to read it soon in English. Other authors have signed their books to me, especially poets and others who have read here.




Other customers have given me music from their flash disks or from cds they have brought in, so my music selection continues to be widely random. Another couple of customers gave me music in another way, as they were members of the group called Oi Va Voi, and they put me on the guest list for their performance at Babylon. I bought their cd and it is part of my music selection too.  In fact, as the music comes up on my computer I am often able to say that this or that musician played at my café: the Cyclown Circus, Donovan Mixon, the Turbans, Lois Deloatch, among others.




These are some of the reasons that I keep doing the café: the generosity of my customers. I am very lucky and I appreciate them all.



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