September 7 western scepticism

My friend knew a Turkish man in Istanbul whom she thought we could have a coffee with while we were there. We received the text from the Turkish friend.
‘We will pick you up. Don’t eat much this afternoon.’
Immediately Western European fatigue is ignited. ‘We’? How many of them are there? I envisage a Pride of Oriental cousins. ‘Don’t eat too much’? A seven course meal with the requirement not to insult the hosts. How to phrase the reply? How to dampen enthusiasm?
‘Sounds great. Don’t go to too much trouble. Feeling a bit tired. Will need to be back by 11.30.’
As we text the message back we feel a bit pathetic. Practically every word of the reply was an attempt to mitigate any potential experience. Well, I am tired. The call to prayer has woken me up at five every morning this week.
Anyway, it turned out quite nice in the end. We are a bit rubbish.

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