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50 signs you've been in Turkey too long!

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Source: Time Out Istanbul, by: Santiago Brusadin

1. You automatically take off your shoes when entering a house.
 
2. You’ve tried all the types of street food Istanbul offers: corn, stuffed mussels, chickpeas on rice, nuts, pomegranate juice, popcorn...
 
3. Not a day goes by without drinking at least one çay (tea). If it does, you feel weird about it.
 
4. Friends don’t invite you to their homes for dinner, but for breakfast.
 
5. You know the name of the guy at the bakkal (corner store) on your street.
 
6. Everything is çok (very): çok güzel, çok iyi, çok ayıp...
 
7. You have started to answer questions by repeating the answer (evet, evet; var, var; hayır, hayır; yok, yok).
 
8. You’ve forgotten what it means to recycle.
 
9. You no longer hear the honking of car horns.
 
10. You know there is always traffic in Istanbul: the question is whether there is traffic or A LOT of traffic.
 
11. You know you’ll find a portrait of Atatürk everywhere you go.
 
12. You have learned to accept yogurt as something salty you drink with your food rather than something sweet you eat for dessert.
 
13. You hardly hear it anymore when the mosques issue the call to prayer. Five times a day. Starting at 05.30.
 
14. You have drunk çay when it’s 35 degrees Celsius outside.
 
15. You know the only way to cross the street is kamikaze-style, with the cars passing just a few centimetres away. Traffic lights? What are those?
 
16. You know the first rule about Atatürk is: you do not say anything bad about Atatürk.
 
17. And the second rule about Atatürk is: you do not say anything bad about Atatürk.
 
18. You ask for a student discount or try to bargain for almost everything.
 
19. Remember when you used to notice how there was always a smartass jumping the queue without anyone complaining? Now you’re that smartass.
 
20. You go to the Tarlabaşı market every Sunday to buy fruits and vegetables at extremely cheap prices. And you still try to bargain for a better deal.
 
21. You know where all the happy-hour places are.
 
22. You always drink the biggest beer because "it’s just one lira more."
 
23. You’re still looking for the cheapest kebab in the city.
 
24. You have a nazar boncuğu ("evil eye") in your house or your room.
 
25. You do not say "ok"; you say "tamam."
 
26. You kiss both cheeks with your close male friends.
 
27. It doesn’t surprise you anymore to see two macho guys walking together with linked arms.
 
28. The entrance to your house looks like a shoe store.
 
29. You have accepted olives and cheese as part of your breakfast.
 
30. You have accepted that there will always be soup and yogurt with your food.
 
31. You have a favourite brand of rakı.
 
32. You have accepted yogurt as a sauce.
 
33. You are thinking about growing a moustache to look cool.
 
34. You think it’s normal to "drink a cigarette," "close the phone" or having it be "raining snow."
 
35. You call older neighbours "aunt" and "uncle."
 
36. You say "allah allah" to complain or express anger.
 
37. You don’t get surprised when some people still give prices in millions of liras.
 
38. You compare the price of an alcoholic drink to the food you could eat for that same amount.
 
39. You now expect to get a wet-wipe soaked in lemon scent at the end of a restaurant meal.
 
40. When you need groceries, you call the shop on the corner and have them sent up to you in a basket.
 
41. You know that kahvaltı means "under or after the coffee" – and that there is never coffee after breakfast.
 
42. You have eaten an islak (wet) hamburger after partying.
 
43. You have eaten midye dolma (stuffed mussels) after a night out. And you’ve stopped asking yourself where they come from or how they’re prepared.
 
44. You know you’ll always find the sugar served in cubes
 
45. You’ve stopped expecting sauce in your döner kebab and know it is normal to find French fries in it instead.
 
46. You expect to climb a ton of stairs to reach a bar or nightclub.
 
47. You only go to the historic part of the city when your friends visit you.
 
48. You think it’s normal for motorcyclists to ride in the wrong direction, without a helmet.
 
49. You know every building has a name of a person on it, and usually two numbers: the old one and the new one.
 
50. You have learned to play tavla (backgammon). Better yet, you’ve spent a whole afternoon drinking çay, smoking nargile (hookah) and playing tavla.

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Never been to Istanbul, been everywhere else, I got 10 out of 50.

When you go there, you will appreciate these:

 

10. You know there is always traffic in Istanbul: the question is whether there is traffic or A LOT of traffic.

15. You know the only way to cross the street is kamikaze-style, with the cars passing just a few centimetres away. Traffic lights? What are those?

19. Remember when you used to notice how there was always a smartass jumping the queue without anyone complaining? Now you’re that smartass.

48. You think it’s normal for motorcyclists to ride in the wrong direction, without a helmet.

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A few more things to add: 

 

51. Respect? What's that?

52. You remember when you used to leave the house and then run back inside because you forgot to bring tissues with you just in case.

53. If you remember when 20,000.00TL was similar to 20YTL in value you've been in Turkey way too long.

54. You remember when the airport looked a lot like the way it still looks at the airport in San Salvador.

55. You can remember when if somebody criticized Turkey you used to get defensive and point out that Turkey has a woman prime minister.

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When you go there, you will appreciate these:

 

10. You know there is always traffic in Istanbul: the question is whether there is traffic or A LOT of traffic.

15. You know the only way to cross the street is kamikaze-style, with the cars passing just a few centimetres away. Traffic lights? What are those?

19. Remember when you used to notice how there was always a smartass jumping the queue without anyone complaining? Now you’re that smartass.

48. You think it’s normal for motorcyclists to ride in the wrong direction, without a helmet.

 

Sounds like Venezuela a bit, but they have people riding in the trunk and the back of the wagon with the back door open. 

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A few more things to add: 

 

51. Respect? What's that?

55. You can remember when if somebody criticized Turkey you used to get defensive and point out that Turkey has a woman prime minister.

I am not sure I understand what you mean by the respect remark. Would you clarify that please? confused1%5B1%5D.gif

 

Ah, yes, Ms Tanzu Çiller, the woman you loved to despise, who made a deal with Necmettin Erbakan and he "let" her sit in the driver's seat for a while. What a woman, she put assassination squads in the east and later called them "patriots,"  shock2%5B1%5D.gif 

 

It was discovered by the media that she had huge amounts of gold which she accidentally "discovered" under her bed. I am sure however, her conscience is clean.  kicking%5B1%5D.gif

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Well that's something I did not know, that there was a female PM in Turkey, how did that happen ... did she pass any laws for the protection of women in her country? I would have if I was her. 

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Well that's something I did not know, that there was a female PM in Turkey, how did that happen ... did she pass any laws for the protection of women in her country? I would have if I was her. 

Hardly, she was a selfish and self-serving person, see my previous comments. Look her up.

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In Turkey there are everyday things some foreigners may find disrespectful:

 

Pedestrians must be careful not to get hit by cars, motorcycles or other pedestrians while crossing the street or walking on the sidewalks.

When waiting in line for the bus or metro and also shopping people can be pushy to the people ahead of them.

The call to prayer because of the way it's now done with a loudspeaker or microphone.

The treatment of women, children, human life and nature at certain times leaves a lot to be desired.

Being followed around in a store when you just want to look around.

Small talk often consists of being asked if you own or rent and other personal questions by taxi drivers and other strangers.

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In Turkey there are everyday things some foreigners may find disrespectful:

 

  1. Pedestrians must be careful not to get hit by cars, motorcycles or other pedestrians while crossing the street or walking on the sidewalks.
  2. When waiting in line for the bus or metro and also shopping people can be pushy to the people ahead of them.
  3. The call to prayer because of the way it's now done with a loudspeaker or microphone.
  4. The treatment of women, children, human life and nature at certain times leaves a lot to be desired.
  5. Being followed around in a store when you just want to look around.
  6. Small talk often consists of being asked if you own or rent and other personal questions by taxi drivers and other strangers.
  1. True
  2. Not sure
  3. Just don't live near the mosque, that's your problem.
  4. Partly True
  5. Happens in every country
  6. Turks are social & like gossip. They like to know everyone's business, hard to get away from that. 

 

Hardly, she was a selfish and self-serving person, see my previous comments. Look her up.

Now I know how she got there lol tongue.png

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It used to be the call to prayer was not done on loudspeakers and I wish we could go back in time because it can sound really pretty sometimes. My baby is 9 months old and we do live near a mosque (which is often unavoidable since there is one on every street pretty much) and she often wakes up crying because it scares her. I have nothing against any beliefs, but I'm pretty sure my baby thinks it's rude. 

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  1. Just don't live near the mosque, that's your problem.

 

Not possible nearly anywhere in Istanbul. The over-amplified calls start at one end of the city and wash over it like at wave on the beach.  There are noise ordnances but no one complains about loud speakers on a mosque.   Make the over paid and over fed imam or muezzin climb to the top 5 times a day, in Istanbul there are enought mosques to make sure no one misses it.

In Turkey there are everyday things some foreigners may find disrespectful:

 

Pedestrians must be careful not to get hit by cars, motorcycles or other pedestrians while crossing the street or walking on the sidewalks.

This is like saying I got hit in the fist with her face is it not?  True, pedestrians do NOT have the right of way, beware.

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Not possible nearly anywhere in Istanbul. The over-amplified calls start at one end of the city and wash over it like at wave on the beach.  There are noise ordnances but no one complains about loud speakers on a mosque.   Make the over paid and over fed imam or muezzin climb to the top 5 times a day, in Istanbul there are enought mosques to make sure no one misses it.

 

I've never gotten use to the loud speakers in the mosque. I always assumed it was a recording they played everytime.

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When I go back to the US and rent a car, and other drivers blow their horns at me, I suddenly realize that I am driving like a Turk!

I thought the blowing of horns was what Turkish drivers did. How were you "driving like a Turk"?

 

But Turks don't drive in the same mad way in smaller towns, just the big cities IMHO.

Hmm, that has certainly not been my experience. Kaş is small compared to Istanbul and yet I see the same lack of concern for signs, safety, or pedestrians as I did in Stamboul.

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Hobbit bey, generally American drivers are extremely careful and law abiding compared to Europeans and therefore more horrified by Turkish drivers who exhibit the same 'bir şey olmaz' attitude to driving as they do to other aspects of life.

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You know you've been in turkey too long when you're dreaming and everyone in the dream is talking turikish and you can't understand anything!!! More like a nightmare wacko.png

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Turkish taxi drivers just like the people often tend to have this mentality where they treat everyone especially foreigners with good esteem. I think it goes back to the teachings of Ataturk or possibly their own mothers and family values? 

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