Eleven Mad 1


I got talking once with a student of mine who was doing her graduate studies.

She was 41… She’d risen to the post of general manager of a well-known financial organization, but she’d never married.

“Why?” I asked one day.

-“Sir, don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t trust men anymore.”

Of course I didn’t take offense, as I’ve always seen myself as a trustable man. But please don’t question the person at issue because:

  1. Just in case;
  2. Even if everything is a bed of roses, it’s never clear exactly what women are going to say!

She had had several relationships and had always encountered similar behavior: loutishness, egotism and a catalogue of impertinence stemming from a desire to impose oneself. And, of course, cheating…

-“They really wore me down,” she continued. “I just want to be myself and have some peace!”

-“You just haven’t found the right person; otherwise, marriage isn’t such a bad thing!” I responded.

-“Sir, I’m not against marriage. Do you think I found someone like you but decided not to tie the knot?” (I can’t entirely remember if she actually said this complimentary sentence or whether it remained in my memory like this. Years have passed since this conservation, so I might have forgotten.)

The crux of the matter is that we men are a difficult lot! (But don’t rush off and jump to the conclusion that women are angels who are “easy to get along with” based on such a categorization.) We are a breed that’s in the wrong when we’re young; we have many deficiencies and make many mistakes. What’s worse is that we show no inclination to resolve the matter! Our “difficult” nature stems from this tendency to avoid change and refuse to accept our faults or rectify our mistakes.

You can’t but help give my student her due. But the other side of the coin is that young guys just aren’t capable of knowing any of this. Trying to explain this to her, I said:

-“I understand your independent and free lifestyle, but if you ask me, don’t avoid finding a man! There should be someone in your life at your side. People need someone of the opposite sex (or maybe of the same sex, although I don’t know) in their life for when they fall down, someone to talk to when they’re in a bind and someone to console them when they’re upset. More to the point, you really feel the need for this when you get older. Loneliness entails weakness! When you’re on your own at home at night and someone knocks on the door, you worry about who it is. If there’s a man at home, you can say, “The door’s ringing… Go get it.” This comfort and security alone outweighs the difficulties of a life together. Think about it.”

The thing I tried to relate to my student doesn’t just go for relationships between men and women but highlights something that we need to feel all the time in our daily lives: Safety and security and the peace that comes with this.

Wining and dining is no different! Don’t you want to go to a restaurant where you’ll trust the quality and the personnel’s behavior? At least I do. Will the meze be off, are they going to take me for a ride on the bill, will the waiters irritate me? I wonder about all of this. Wouldn’t you want to eat at a place with peace and enjoyment instead of entertaining such worries? That’s why I don’t usually opt for newly opened restaurants. Such places are like young guys who are completely unpredictable. It’s never clear when they’ll do what! Let me wait so that they can settle down and figure out who they are… Then let me be sure that they’ll make me happy so that we can be together! Chatterboxes who go, “Hey, there’s this new place that’s really trendy – everyone’s there and the food is amazing!” have nothing to say to me!

I want what I know!

With this in mind, here are the restaurants that I love, trust and enjoy going to in the cities that I visit the most:

New York: Eleven Mad

San Francisco: Chez Panisse

Paris: Apicius

London : Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Istanbul: Kıyı

These are all expensive restaurants. It’s not easy to go there – you need to save up the money!

But please answer with all honesty:

What love is easy to attain? What love doesn’t require one heck of a lot of work?




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