A recent trip to Turkey has resulted in some introspection. My wife, Sheila, and I always have tried to be gracious hosts whenever special guests have been invited to our home. Because we are involved in Orange County's interfaith community, many times our visitors are from other countries, cultures or religions. We were careful to be aware of dietary restrictions and special needs of our guests; however, this Turkish excursion has caused us to consider reevaluating our efforts.
Wherever we went, whether meeting with government officers, heads of TV stations, presidents of charitable foundations, journalists, or dining in the home of a citizen, we faced a formidable array of refreshments, including the thick and rich Turkish coffee, tea, and a variety of sweets. This was followed by more coffee — and a large plate of fresh fruits, including apples, apricots, cherries, plums, watermelon and some varieties I didn't recognize. Just when I thought the evening was over, another round began: more coffee and sweets followed by gifts for each guest!