IbrahimAbi

It wouldn't happen in........

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As we live our lives in Turkey we get used to the differences here, Europe and Western countries are so bound by rules, Health and safety, fear of being sued etc that IMHO it has become boring.

 

I am asking TC members to write about their experiences that make living here different... we are so used to hearing people say ' It wouldn't happen like than in.....' in a negative way. I enjoy the challenges and surprises of living here.

 

We are having a new store built for garden equipment, and I went to buy bricks, tiles, steel and wood.

 

At the timber merchant we discussed our needs, and I heard the boss call someone to process the credit card payment. So when he came in I tried to give the man my card, instead he wrote down on a bit of paper, in Turkish, the name of a petrol station, his name and 1500TL. Apparently I had to go there to pay for the wood by credit card.

 

He does not own the petrol station. At the petrol station I asked the boss why we were doing this.. does the wood merchant not have a credit card machine 'cihaz', 'yes but he buys his petrol from us, so we have an arrangement'

Ken Grubb likes this

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Flies swarming in and out of the hospitals and everyone is calm and normal. I made the mistake to go to the public hospital for a blood test once, and every room has open bins which encourages flies to fester. All they have to do is cover the bins, that's all, but they seem to like the flies. Pests become pets at the hastane lol. The same should go with the street bins just keep them closed.


As well Turks throw garbage everywhere, no matter where you go, you will see trash on the streets. They come off as so patriotic but !?!

Ken Grubb and IbrahimAbi like this

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The other day a friend of mine and I went out to find a nice quiet restaurant where we could have breakfast and chat. We found one. There was nobody there except for a man reading a newspaper in the far edges of the outside dining area. We sat down, the waiter gave us the menus, and went inside. Next, this techno-pop music started playing. We really didn't want to listen to it, so I asked the waiter to turn it off.

 

He said no. He would not turn it off, but he would turn it down. If he turned it down, we couldn't tell. We sat there for a while and debated if we should stay or not, then decided to go and find another place. Thankfully they hadn't started cooking yet when I went inside and canceled our order. I explained that we really didn't want to listen to music. And we left. 

 

I wonder if his boss told him "when there are customers, turn on the music." And the man had no instructions about what to do when the customer didn't want to listen to music!

IbrahimAbi and PeteJF like this

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Life here in Ankara,Turkey after 6ish months ebbs and flows.

 

Somedays I don't want to look outside, I miss normality and would rather sleep most of the day then even hear any chatter of Turkish.  Those are the days I turn on the television to movie channels and without hesitation switch the language to English.  In those times I despise the sight of Turkish tea, children constantly shouting "anne anne", and anything foreign to my previous senses becomes hostile and irritating.  I become short-fused and narrow-sighted to the fact that I have forever left my country and all this newness surrounding me has to become familiar, and the faster that happens the easier it gets.  A lot of times I resist logic and adaptation to just enjoy my house which I had de-Turkified and made very clearly American (a place where you take your shoes off INSIDE the house).

 

Yet there are somedays I can brave the unfamiliar and enjoy the market-shopping trying to figure out the difference between cheeses and wishing mozzerella was possible to find.  Going out despite my hatred for smoking I somehow build a tolerance and have a worldly acceptance to everyone.  I see brilliant moments of just pure goodness in Turkish people here which are seldom found in America.  The warmth of families here, the picturesque countryside, the simplicity of not living in stuffy capitalism.  It's enjoyable.  Just not everyday, I can't do everyday happy expat in Turkey.

 

Being an American made me realize how strange Americans are compared to the rest of the world, which we naturally don't learn while in America I realize we are very isolated from manners, worldly culturalisms that are common to a lot of the world which we don't even possess. 

 

All-in-all after my short time here I have mixed feelings about it all.  There are truly wondrous things here but knowing how xenophobic Turks are it's a wonder if I will ever be fully accepted in the future or whether I will live out my life forever a yabanci. 

YabanciGirl and Ken Grubb like this

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Being a yabanci does not just apply to foreigners. It is applied to all incomers who were not born in the area. One of my neighbours built most of the houses in the village, is married and has raised two children here, but he is still a yabanci as he originates from a village 20 km away.

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Today I needed a car recovery vehicle, I called one, it came and we discussed the loading of the vehicle. I watched the driver take a small club from under the truck, a little like a baseball bat and wondered what it was for. He then jammed it between his seat and the accelerator pedal to increase the revs while he operated the winch. Obviously an optional extra for the Turkis market.

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Yesterday, on the way back from the vet, I realised that if we ran into a police check, we had on us two syringes with 3ml of clear fluid in them, no receipt or prescription, she had just taken the medicine from a larger container to inject the dogs in a few days. might have taken some explaining in the UK, but par for the course here.

Ken Grubb likes this

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It is quite common in Turkey for shop keepers to leave their shops open when they are not there. My local barber leaves his open and you just walk in, sit down and he will eventually turn up, his jacket is hung up, mobile phone on the counter 'bir şey olmaz')

We have been into our local county town (population about 200 000) and walked into a watch shop in the middle of town, open but no one inside. the neighbour told us to sit down, he is at the mosque.

This week we were shocked however, when we went to see a man we had recently met who is a 'bıçakcı', he sells and sharpens knives. We had a range of knives and garden cutters for him to sharpen.  Again the shop was open, inside, hanging up were about 40 knives, machetes etc. The neighbour called him on the phone. He said he 'would be back in about 40 minutes, leave the knives on the counter' and he would sharpen them on his return.

So off we went round the corner, for a leisurely fish lunch. Sure enough on our return really sharp tools once again.   'Bir şey olmaz'

Ken Grubb likes this

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One of the main reasons I like living here. :)

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On 7/27/2015 at 10:42 AM, IbrahimAbi said:

Today I needed a car recovery vehicle, I called one, it came and we discussed the loading of the vehicle. I watched the driver take a small club from under the truck, a little like a baseball bat and wondered what it was for. He then jammed it between his seat and the accelerator pedal to increase the revs while he operated the winch. Obviously an optional extra for the Turkis market.

Many years ago, I was visiting my then boyfriend, now husband in Turkey. His car broke down, so he called a tow truck. We waited inside the car for it to arrive. It arrived,he got out and spoke to the driver while he hooked the car up to the tow truck. I waited inside, thinking that as soon as it was all hooked up, we'd get inside the tow truck. Everything's hooked up, my boyfriend gets back in  the car with me, and the tow truck takes off, with us still inside the car!! Shocked, I asked my boyfriend"Are we supposed to still be in the car? Isn't this dangerous?" He replied that it probably was, but that's how it was done in Turkey!

IbrahimAbi and Ken Grubb like this

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