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Cultural differences
(18 Messages in 2 pages - View all)
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1.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 07 Jun 2008 Sat 09:44 pm

At the bank
We went to the bank yesterday, and as we were sitting around waiting for our number to be called, I was reminded of a cultural difference I often notice but fail to report: the Turkish inclination to flash money. Now, perhaps it’s not so strange to see people holding money in a bank, but in most banks in the United States and Europe, people would keep their money concealed until they got up to the counter. In Turkey, if you look around the bank waiting area you notice that most people have their money out where everyone can see it. Check this guy, for instance— even though he has an envelope in his hand, he has taken the money out of it, and as you can see, it’s a stack of hundreds about half an inch thick. If I measure, for example, the first hundred pages of a book, it’s about the same thickness as that stack. So that’s, what, $10,000? I saw him counting the money at one point, and can confirm it’s not a stack of singles with a hundred on top.

I guess in the bank itself, my Western panic about “don’t give people a temptation to mug you” is a bit silly, since there are two heavily armed guards at the bank door and no one would be stupid enough to try mugging someone. Still, I don’t feel comfortable displaying my cash. I was raised to think that finances are a very private thing, and that you should guard any information, including how much money you have in your pocket, from prying eyes.

Turks seem proud of how much they have— I have Turkish friends who have absolutely no problem telling strangers how much they make every month and how much is in their bank account at any given moment, even if it’s not a lot. And if they come into some unexpected money, they announce it as they would the birth of a child, and everyone celebrates the good fortune together.

Me, if I won some money or had some other windfall, I wouldn’t tell anyone outside my household. Aside from the fact that I don’t feel it’s anyone’s business how much money I have, I have a healthy dose of cynicism in me— I’ve certainly been on the receiving end of people coming out of the woodwork, and in my experience the only way to avoid it is not to let people know when you’re unexpectedly flush. Most of the Turks I know would be happy to tell everyone how much they won, and give a loan to whomever asked for one. They’re so much nicer than I am.

21 May 2008, 14:24 | Posted in Life In Turkey




2.       silversong
278 posts
 07 Jun 2008 Sat 09:59 pm

very nice post, however in my experience most Turkish guys dont want to tell you how much money they have, but how much debt they are in. They can't wait to explain how much you could improve their life by sending them money to either pay off their debt, open that resturant in bodrum, or pay for that life saving operation, or all three. And of course they will return the loan lol

3.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 07 Jun 2008 Sat 10:03 pm

You must have had a bad experience!

4.       silversong
278 posts
 07 Jun 2008 Sat 10:08 pm

Quoting Roswitha:

You must have had a bad experience!


lol not so much a bad experience, but just got bored with it. Now I choose not to correspond with Turkish gentlemen lol
however if any women would like to help me learn Turkish I would be happy to correspond with them, after they supply their bank details lol

5.       Avalon
381 posts
 08 Jun 2008 Sun 01:12 am

Quoting silversong:

very nice post, however in my experience most Turkish guys dont want to tell you how much money they have, but how much debt they are in. They can't wait to explain how much you could improve their life by sending them money to either pay off their debt, open that resturant in bodrum, or pay for that life saving operation, or all three. And of course they will return the loan lol

Silersong!!!!U unquestionably know the wrong guys....open your eyes)))))

6.       HomeSick
137 posts
 08 Jun 2008 Sun 07:12 am

What is private or what is not private, I am still having difficulties in understanding that concept here, in United States.

I made friends through out the years I spent here. If I try to talk about how much money we are making, it is private. If I talk about the sex life it is in public domain.The guy who refuses to talk about his earnings is open to discussions about his sex life and it is really kind of confusing for me!! hehe

On the other hand, I can easilly say how much I am making if I am asked by a friend, I can even go through details if I am asked for the benefit of the person who in the first place raised the question. It is not a private matter for me.



7.       silversong
278 posts
 08 Jun 2008 Sun 10:05 am

Quoting HomeSick:

What is private or what is not private, I am still having difficulties in understanding that concept here, in United States.

I made friends through out the years I spent here. If I try to talk about how much money we are making, it is private. If I talk about the sex life it is in public domain.The guy who refuses to talk about his earnings is open to discussions about his sex life and it is really kind of confusing for me!! hehe

On the other hand, I can easilly say how much I am making if I am asked by a friend, I can even go through details if I am asked for the benefit of the person who in the first place raised the question. It is not a private matter for

8.       lovebug
280 posts
 08 Jun 2008 Sun 08:16 pm

Quoting HomeSick:

What is private or what is not private, I am still having difficulties in understanding that concept here, in United States.

I made friends through out the years I spent here. If I try to talk about how much money we are making, it is private. If I talk about the sex life it is in public domain.The guy who refuses to talk about his earnings is open to discussions about his sex life and it is really kind of confusing for me!! hehe

On the other hand, I can easilly say how much I am making if I am asked by a friend, I can even go through details if I am asked for the benefit of the person who in the first place raised the question. It is not a private matter for me.



Merhaba Homesick. Good to see you on TC. Have you and your wife moved to the US now?

Hope all is well!!

Kendine iyi bak,

Wendy


9.       teaschip
3870 posts
 09 Jun 2008 Mon 05:00 pm

Quoting silversong:

very nice post, however in my experience most Turkish guys dont want to tell you how much money they have, but how much debt they are in. They can't wait to explain how much you could improve their life by sending them money to either pay off their debt, open that resturant in bodrum, or pay for that life saving operation, or all three. And of course they will return the loan lol



Maybe they were resort workers.

10.       teaschip
3870 posts
 09 Jun 2008 Mon 05:35 pm

Quoting HomeSick:

What is private or what is not private, I am still having difficulties in understanding that concept here, in United States.

I made friends through out the years I spent here. If I try to talk about how much money we are making, it is private. If I talk about the sex life it is in public domain.The guy who refuses to talk about his earnings is open to discussions about his sex life and it is really kind of confusing for me!! hehe

On the other hand, I can easilly say how much I am making if I am asked by a friend, I can even go through details if I am asked for the benefit of the person who in the first place raised the question. It is not a private matter for me.





Typically, in the U.S. it is frowned upon by most employers to discuss your earnings with other co-workers. Finances are usually discussed with your spouse and your financial planner. Generally, unless you get a promotion, bonus etc. it's just not a topic we openly talk about. You either make descent or ok money. Sometimes it's even hard to tell who is wealthy. They may have a huge house, expensive cars but maybe up to their eyeballs in debt.

The topic of sex isn't discussed as openly, I think it maybe the circle of friends you may have. The media does expoit it however.

One other comment about this article. The growing number of people here in the U.S. rarely go to the bank with cash, unless your a business owner. Usually, your making deposits by check or cashing checks. The debit card has become the most used form of payment. Most employers now offer direct deposit of your pay check and the drive thru at the bank is used often by people. So this another reason why you don't see a number of people standing in line with a pile of cash at the bank.

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