|This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the game.|
|Number in season:||1a|
|Original Airdate:|| September 15, 2003|
January 21, 2004
November 25, 2006
|Written by:||Peter K. Hirsch|
|Storyboard by:||Ivan Tankushev|
Arthur gets a new Turkish pen pal, Adil. Imagining Adil riding a camel to school and eating exotic foods, he worries that his letters about life in Elwood City will be really boring by comparison.
The episode opens with an aerial view of a city. It zooms in closer, and a street is seen. A man with glasses and an impressive-looking mustache looks at his watch. He calls for "Adil" and says something in Turkish. Adil replies to him in Turkish as well. He notices the audience so he talks in English. In his room, there is a cat kid named Onder rolling up a sleeping bag. We find out that Onder is Adil's best friend. Adil's sister, Ayse, walks into the room and shouts at Adil. She walks out, and closes the door.
Adil logs on to his computer, explaining that when he is annoyed by Ayse, there is only one thing he wants to do: talk to other kids online. Onder asks Adil if Arthur can ask the Brain to give answers to his math homework; however, he mistakenly refers to the Brain as "the Head." Adil points this out, and corrects Onder. His computer makes beeping sounds, and the intertitle shows.
Arthur, D.W., and Dad are in the garage, looking for his olive de-pitter, the one Arthur bought for him in Arthur's Perfect Christmas. It must help him a lot, because the recipe he is going to cook would take hours without one. While looking for it, Arthur finds a stack of letters. He blows the dust off of them. He shows them to Dad. It was from Tatsuya Matsumoto, an old Japanese pen-pal David had in seventh grade. All of a sudden, Dad gets hit by the pit of an olive. D.W. found it.
Arthur is enjoying reading the letters, even laughing at them. By the time he wakes up, the letters are all over his bed.
At school, Mr. Ratburn is clapping erasers. Arthur asks if he understands how he can get a pen pal. Mr. Ratburn recently found a "webspot" for teachers about pen-pals. Unsurprisingly, Mr. Ratburn doesn't know how to turn on the computer, so Arthur turns it on for him. Mr. Ratburn prints out a list of names and addresses. For those who are interested, here is a list of mentioned names and their respective addresses:
- Jose Maura - Cruz, Antigua - 8 - 1290 San Miguel, Santa
- Alex Tankushev - Sofia, Bulgaria - 9 - 104 Lemin Str.Ap.12
- Adil Akyuz - Istanbul, Turkey - 8 - Murat Pasha, Cad #3
- Kim Houng Han - Doungsoungpa-Ku, Seoul, Korea - 10 - 71-6Munjung
- There's honey-glazed turkey,
- smoked turkey,
- and Buster's favorite, roast turkey.
He grabs a bone out of his food cabinet, which was apparently from his first Thanksgiving. Arthur corrects Buster, saying he’s talking about the country, not the animal. Buster replies that he knows some things about that too. It's where Illinois Jack and the Caravan of Horrors takes place. The comic contains various cultural stereotypes. Buster encourages Arthur to write to Adil; maybe he will be exciting like the comic book.
Arthur writes his first letter to Adil. Adil and Onder are reading it in Adil's bedroom, and they do not know what "pepperoni pizza" or a "mall" is.
At the Read residence, Arthur is excited to discuss Adil to his family. According to Arthur, Adil works at his father's grocery store, which sells spices and lamb's eyes. Dad is surprised that they eat lamb's eyes. Arthur thinks that because he saw it in Illinois Jack it was true. D.W. said that Arthur is going to get Adil to get his little sister to send him a Mary Moo Cow CD in Turkish. Arthur thinks that his letter was boring compared to Adil's.
While writing another letter to Adil, Arthur imagines that Adil, his father and Onder fall asleep because his letter is so boring. Arthur says the letter is even putting him to sleep, so he goes to bed. He hopes that something exciting for him to happen tomorrow.
The next day, it is raining outside of the Sugar Bowl. Arthur and Buster are sitting at their booth playing a game. Buster has eaten 27 cherries, which is his record. Buster suggests answering Adil's questions, but Arthur has already done that. His definitions of "mall" and "pepperoni" are boring, according to Arthur. Buster then suggests that maybe Arthur should ask more questions about Turkey. He pulls out an Illinois Jack comic book, and gives it to Arthur for "inspiration".
In the next letter Arthur writes to Adil, Arthur wonders how he gets to school. He wonders if he rides a camel there, like a character in Illinois Jack. Adil receives the letter, asking him if his camel has its own room or if it sleeps in his. Adil finds this question weird. Arthur then asks Adil his favorite food; maybe it is lamb's eyes. Adil finds this question disgusting. Adil does not understand what he will write back.
At Arthur's house, the mail comes. None of it is from Adil. The next day, no mail for Arthur. And the next day there is still no mail addressed to him. Alberto sees Arthur's Illinois Jack comic. He thinks they are funny, since they always get everything wrong. Arthur thought that the comic was accurate and true-to-life.
Arthur finally figures out that Adil hasn't written back because he is stereotyping. Arthur is embarrassed. He looked on the piece of paper that Mr. Ratburn gave him, and he finds out that Adil has an e-mail address.
Arthur plans to e-mail Adil.
- Arthur: Dear Adil. Just wondering if you got my letters. P S I didn't know you had e-mail. How do you plug your computer in?"
- Adil: Dear Arthur, I plug my computer into the wall of OUR APARTMENT. I don't live in a tent.
- Arthur: Oh, sorry. I read this comic and it gave me some weird ideas about how you lived. Is that why you didn't write back?"
- Adil: Yes, I was going to correct you but I thought you would take forever. And then you didn't answer my questions.
- Arthur: That's because my answers sounded boring. I mean, a mall is just one really big store with lots of little stores in it.
- Adil: We have lots of those in Istanbul. The biggest and oldest is the Kapali Carsi. That's the covered bazaar in English.
- Adil: Arthur? Are you still there?
- Sorry Adil. My pesky little sister just interrupted me.
- Adil: Ayse is always doing that and it's always when I really don't want to be disturbed. How does she know?
- Adil, I think we have a lot more in common than we ever imagined.
Back at Adil's apartment, Adil is online, but he can't talk to Arthur now because it is late at night in Elwood City. Arthur is mad at Adil because Ayse found the Turkish Mary Moo Cow CD. D.W. is singing it at the Reads' house, despite it being late at night. Arthur tells D.W. to go to sleep.
- One of the kids on the pen-pal list has the last name Tankushev, the same last name as the storyboard artist of this episode. Also, that same kid is from Sofia, Bulgaria (which is misspelled as "Sophia") on the list.
- An interactive storybook based on this episode was released on the PBS Kids website. It can be seen here. However, it is slightly different from the episode. For example, "at the mall" in Arthur's first letter was changed to "and a brownie".
- Illinois Jack is a reference to Indiana Jones.
- The mailman was whistling "Ode to Joy", a song composed by Beethoven.
- The dress Ayse wears in the episode's intro barely a striking resemblance to the dress Francine wore in Francine's Bad Hair Day, but with longer sleeves.
- D.W. references the Best of the Nest game by saying "The answer is, do the hokey-pokey!".
- The map of Turkey contains a few mistakes. There for instance doesn't appear to be a Ukrainian-Russian border, and the Danube is misspelt as "Dunabe".
- Main article: Dear Adil/Gallery