The only place I can generally get a soy latte in Istanbul is at a Starbucks. I'm not a fan of Starbucks for several reasons, but mainly I just don't like the way the coffee tastes. Now, I know I am in a veritable coffee wonderland— and yes, there is nothing like a tiny, sweetened silty cup of Türk kahvesi, but sometimes I just want a paper cup of creamy soy and espresso.
The funny thing about ordering a drink at a Turkish Starbucks is that you can order it in Turkish, but the baristas call the drinks to each other in English; a "grande buzlu soya latte," as it is on the menu board, is yelled out as an "iced grande soya latte." If you order the drink in English to start with, the baristas will think you are a foreigner and speak only English to you.
Then they ask you for your name.
This has become a rather interesting experience, as there is no "Samantha" in Turkish. I have learned that the first two "a"s in my name sound more like the Turkish "e"— and there is no "th"— so I have seen my name attempted in a variety of ways:
To make things easier for everyone (and for a bit of fun), I've been trying out popular Turkish names: Lale, Sema, Deniz, Leyla, Hande— but today I was caught up in some daydream. Samantha slipped out, and I soon discovered "Sabanta" was scrawled in Sharpie on my paper cup.