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I Think if I Eat Another Turkish Dinner I Will Explode - Help!

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Oh man, oh man, I need some more advice! (What would I do without you guys!)

I love Turkish food! I really do, but I don't eat all that much and my landlady seems intent on making me explode. She doesn't want me to stop eating and won't accept my doydum's! I'm not sure what else to say without being rude, so tonight she kept wanting me to finish the rice and tzatziki sauce that was left over and at first I thought she just meant the rice so I ate that and then she came back and pointed to the sauce and told me to eat! And... Well... I could have eaten it with more of the dinner but that would of meant eating way more food so I just ate it... alone... except the bread... And she kind of looked at me weird and asked if I wanted rice and the other part of the meal too and I couldn't explain that if I did that I really would burst so we kind of had an awkward moment but finally I finished and she was happy.

But... I kind of need advice. Is it very rude to say that you're way too full to keep eating? I don't want to make her lose face, but at the same time I don't want to make myself sick.

This is kind of a funny story now that it's over, but not exactly the most enjoyable experience to be having every night.

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Posted Image I bad the same problem when I was new here. Later I learnt a gesture that helped me get through this situation really easily:

Put your right hand at your left chest, slightly shake your head, and politely say: "Thank you".

It is a very polite way to refuse and if people see you using this gesture, they'll stop giving you more. Posted Image I don't know if this works well in Istanbul but it works well here in Adana.

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It is not rude to say you have had enough and Conan's way of doing it is polite too.

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Some Turkish hosts can really smother you with hospitality. I think the Turkish tradition is to refuse three times. Refuse more times if necessary! Conan's right, put your hand on your heart, bow your head slightly at an angle, and say "teşekkür ederim, (teh sheh kerr eh deh rim). It sounds funny to say "thank you" in refusal, but just think of it as saying "no thank you" without the "no" part.

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If you do find a way of preventing your plate being refilled every time it looks like it might be getting empty, please let me know.

Ditto with paying in restaurants.

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Oh, I almost forgot. Another non-verbal gesture that says you've eaten enough to eat is to put your knife and fork together, and lay them at an angle on your plate. I don't know if the angle is important, but that means you're finished eating. I hope I caught you in time! Posted Image

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Hi Paks,

All Turkish women have a tendency to overfeed whoever is at the table. My son complains about his mum, and I also complain about about the copious amounts of food piled on my plate (especially if you are not looking) but nothing seems to make any difference.

Welcome to TurkeyPosted Image

"Yeter" while patting my belly also seems to work - you may have a problem doing that-unless you have one (belly) like mine!!!! Posted Image

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Hi paks,

I think conan's gesture is good. Also, say thank you, then elinize saglik (soft 'g' no dot on the i).

I don't know the translation, it sort of just means 'healthy hands', but you say it to people who have prepared food for you, or perhaps made something for you.

I use it and it makes a polite full stop to your eating, and your host knows you've finished. She'll probably then say afiyet olsen which is bon appetite.

Don't be too sensitive about offending them, they will keep dishing up food until you burst, so clearly you have to put a stop to it somehow!!

Do you like the food, btw?

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Perhaps she was waiting for the "Eleyna Salik" (pardon the spelling if it's wrong!) complement?

I found if when I am finished, I wipe my mouth, put my silverware where suggested and say this phrase (literally "health to your hands") then it shows I am officially finished and satisfied. It also compliments the cook.

Maybe she kept trying to satisfy you because you didn't say this???

Try it next time. You say it "el-LAY-nah SAL-lik."

Oops- just read Ahududu's post. Sorry for being redundant. And a horrible speller.

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Hmm, I was told it was ellerine saglik (only with the right i character).

Yes, I've been saying that also, and it seems like things have calmed down. I still get stuffed and I'm the one who has to finish anything left on the table but I'm not being force-fed anymore. xP

Yes, I do like it! There's so much garlic! Sarumsak? Sometimes the salad has a very bitter herb in it that I don't know, but other than that everything is so delicious! And, amazingly enough, I haven't even been eating much meat at all here and it's still delicious!!!

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