Before heading back to Geneva for 10 days, and since we’ve been in Turkey for four months and a bit, I thought I’d share a quarterly review on random bits and mysteries that remain to be resolved:
- The average Turk is generally rather laid back in terms of timeliness (yavaş, yavaş), quite gentle and soft-spoken… Except behind the wheel. Watch out! Bye bye Dr. Jekyll, Welcome Mr. Hyde! Honk-Hoooonk! The relaxed Turk turns into speeding lunatic who has to overtake the car ahead even if he'll be turning off the main road 20 meters later anyway. Huh? It's like: "Hurry up so I can go home, lay back and relax!" Still a mystery to me!
- Turkey is a control freak’s paradise; you’ll be able to let your controlling instincts run wild and no one will get offended when you remind them to come/go finish the job/ - in fact it’s the only way to get things done here.
- When speaking with locals or ordering in a restaurant, remember Greek salad is not Greek, nor is Moussaka. And Baklava is certainly neither Greek (μπακλαβάς) Serbian (баклава), Romanian (baclava), nor Lebanese (بقلاوة).
- Do the sales people realize that helping and encouraging you to buy from the shop is part of their job?
- Luckily, the ones that are helpful really go out of their way to give you a hand!
- Any given supermarket or market has at least 300 different white cheeses which are totally indistinguishable from the outside (all square blocks in saran wrap)
- Petrol is the most expensive on earth!
- When stopped by the police, or by an annoying promotion-person just say “turkçe konuşmiyorum” (I don’t speak Turkish) and you’ll instantly get an apologetic smile and a wave to move on.
- Advocating the use anti-perspirant /deodorant that promises 7 day efficiency is a very near sighted strategy... (euh, gross!)
- Ataturk is never a subject to joke about
I'm so happy to be going home!!!!!