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Language Barrier


While waiting in front of the counter at Pan Cafe; I was watching the dancing girl hologram. I didn't know why I came to Pan Cafe, my feet had brought me here. I was watching the girl dancing in her red dress as if mesmerized. After all the events I've been through, it was interesting that an image the size of a hand, a dream made of light, had such an effect on me.

When it was my turn, I made a “one” sign with my finger and said “latte”. The boy who took the order said a few words I didn't understand. He entered the order correctly, so I didn't try to understand what he was saying. The girl who prepared my drink said some words that I did not understand while handing me the glass. I ascribed my inability to understand her words to her speaking style, so I took the latte and sat down at one of the nearby tables.

A girl was talking passionately to her boyfriend at the next table. Unfortunately, I didn't understand a word of what she was saying. I had a great shock a few minutes ago, but I was not yet out of my mind, or at least I hoped so. I listened to what was being said at the table on the other side, and I couldn't understand a word of what they were talking about.

I'd better do a situation assessment. About half an hour ago, I had come home from work because I wasn't feeling well, had opened the door to our apartment via eye scan, and heard strange noises coming from the bedroom. My eyes were fixed on Sappho, our service android, who was standing in the living room with the lights off and motionless, probably shut so that she wouldn't witness the events in the house. Hoping that I was misinterpreting the sounds I was hearing, I went into the bedroom and witnessed my wife making love to another man. After making eye contact with my wife and the man I didn't know, I left the house without saying a word.

After wandering in the side streets of Levent for a while, I came to Pan Cafe. My experiences had gone beyond what I could bear. In the last two months, I had witnessed the vaporization of all my savings before my eyes. There was a complete collapse in the shoe market in which I operate, and my savings came to the point of extinction.

Before I finished my drink, I left the Pan Cafe and lit an electronic cigarette. I jumped on the self-controlled capsule motorcycle that I called and started riding towards Kadıköy, where my parents lived. Manowar was playing on my capsule motorcycle and I could understand the lyrics. So I wasn't crazy, just the Turks had started to speak another language.

As my capsule motorcycle drove towards the Bosphorus bridge on autopilot, I remembered that ominous day when bad things started. The shuttle bus that took our son to school crashed on the shore of the Bosphorus. A sad accident that occurred after years of waiting for flying vehicles with hope and curiosity. After we lost our child in an accident, nothing has been the same. Psychotherapy and anti-depressants weren't enough to ease the child's pain. Maybe we got used to it over time, but an uncomfortable hum remained in our brains. We realized how fragile our lives were. Every relationship is a story created together. As the story gets bitter, the relationship loses its ground.

My mother was luckily at home, she greeted me with words I didn't understand. I told her what had happened to me at Pan Cafe, and of course, I didn't say a word about what Eylem did. Her eyes were saying that she didn't understand any of my words. Among the words she said, the only word I understood was "Sarp". In this parallel world, where I couldn't make sense of what was going on, at least my name had remained the same. My mother obviously thought I was playing some kind of joke on her, and when I told her I didn't understand her, she replied with angry words. Luckily, she finally realized by my expression that I didn't understand her. She told me to come in and sit down with gestures. She brought me a glass of water from the kitchen, she must have hoped that I would be back to my old self after drinking water, so I suddenly had such a dream, and after I finished drinking the water, I thanked her. My mother repeated the words I said and put her hands under her chin and began to think.

After a while, he got up as if she had remembered something and made a few phone calls. She asked me if I was hungry by gestures, when she realized that I was not hungry, she brought fruit, but I did not eat them, I did not want anything.

Just like when I was a kid, my parents were in the front and I was sitting in the back seat. My father's self-guided flying car was rolling up and down to optimize its route for air traffic.

They dressed me in a strange nylon robe over my bare body and tucked me into the imaging device. There was some clatter coming from inside the machine, the equivalent of which can be found in body shops. I had been in such a device in my childhood due to chronic headaches, technology was not progressing at all in some areas, it should not have taken so long to photograph my brain sections. When the process was finally done, I was cold and like drunk.

Unlike my mother and father, the doctor knew English, so I was able to tell him what I was going through. It was obvious that I had forgotten my mother tongue. What was the language I spoke then, thinking it was Turkish? The doctor asked me to open Google's translation service and speak. I set out to tell you how much I enjoyed riding bumper cars at the amusement park as a kid. “Marika,” my mother said as if she had solved the mystery because her face lit up. The doctor said that the language I speak was Georgian. Marika took care of me from the day I was born until I was seven because my mother was working.

The doctor was relieved because he thought that the case had been enlightened: “A shock you went through had opened the door in which Georgian was buried in your mind, and in the meantime, you forgot Turkish. I remember reading such historical cases. However, since those events were the result of physical trauma, it did not occur to me to diagnose your case like this.”

“The pain of a dead child is like nothing, my son has been in trouble lately,” my mother said. She didn't know, of course, that the last event I've been through has added salt and pepper to everything.

“It's hard to say for sure. There is no physical deformation in the language-specialized region of the brain. The situation may improve tomorrow, or it may never improve.”

On the way back, I told my parents to take me home. My wife Eylem was at home and her lover was gone. I asked her in English why she was in our bed with another man. She felt so guilty about it that without even questioning why I was speaking English, she said in English, “I'm sorry. “I got carried away with the current."

“How long has this relationship existed?” I asked.

“It happened all of a sudden,” said Eylem.

After a month of hoping that I would start speaking Turkish again at my parents' house, my company went bankrupt. However, for some reason, I began to face what had happened to me with fortitude. Maybe I could make a fresh start using what I had left. I took Marika's phone from my mother and, I asked her what job I could do in Georgia. Marika was surprised, she said that I speak Georgian very well and asked how I learned it.

“I learned while you were talking. I am very pleased to hear your voice again.”

"Me too. I don't understand business matters, but I have friends. I can get you to talk to them. Who knows how much you've grown…” she said.

Three days later, I was on a Turkish Airlines flight to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Moving to a new country could be the right choice for a fresh start.

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