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Living - working in Turkey

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50 signs you´ve been in Turkey too long
1.       portakal
6 posts
 04 Jul 2013 Thu 01:34 pm

June, 2013

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 güzelçok iyiçok ayıp...


7. You have started to answer questions by repeating the answer (evet, evetvar, varhayır, hayıryok, 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 in Taksim.


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.

kayaburak, Leo S, T4 Consulting, evchron, viktorijamo and 9 others liked this message
2.       WGroleau
24 posts
 12 Mar 2014 Wed 04:21 am

I always take my shoes off when I enter a house—and I’ve never been in Turkey (yet).  It’s quite common in USA.

3.       stumpy
638 posts
 12 Mar 2014 Wed 06:15 pm

When eventually you go to Turkey, keep what was written in mind and you will understand.

4.       Abla
3648 posts
 13 Mar 2014 Thu 07:59 am


Quoting WGroleau

I always take my shoes off when I enter a house—and I’ve never been in Turkey (yet).  It’s quite common in USA.


In my country, taking off the shoes when entering a house was originally a countryside habit (people came from the muddy fields and animal shelters with their rubber boots). Helsinki people never did that in the 19th century. Now it is a rule everywhere.


There may be different reasons for the same customs. I guess Muslims try to avoid walking with shoes on in a place where they pray also.

MCO liked this message
5.       SaraZet
2 posts
 13 Mar 2014 Thu 02:08 pm

loved it {#emotions_dlg.lol_fast}

6.       denizli
961 posts
 15 Mar 2014 Sat 07:28 pm

Yes that is pretty good.

Once I was on the patio with bare feet then I had to get a ball in the garden. Then I wanted to get some salt from inside. But I couldn´t get because my feet were technically dirty since I walked in the garden. I had no choice but to wash my feet before I got inside.


Here´s a few more:

51. You are no longer amazed by the awesome stone work lining the roads.

52. You start taking for granted that some channel will be showing soccer, even though it is the summer off-season.

53. You stop wondering why every single cottage is a semi (i.e. semi detached).

54. You are having Baklava once a day rather than once a month.

55. You stop calling it Ephesus.

56. You can´t remember the last time you saw a Chinese person, unless they were a tourist.

57. You begin to miss the ice cream from back home even though the Turkish ice cream is way better.

58. You realize that every child you´ve been introduced to is first in their class.

59. You start pronouncing Sibel Can´s name correctly and stead of saying Sibel Kan.

60. When you talk English to people back home you say things like "tired I was" or you say something like "I could not have been walking" as if it was one word.

61. When you are with family, you pretend your beer is a soft drink, even though you are 40.

62. The novelty of the water jets in the toilets has worn off.

63. You realize that back home you weren´t really being gouged at the gas stations.

64. You notice every restaurant has the exact same salad.

65. You seriously begin considering how you too can retire in your 40´s.


Leo S, evchron and Abla liked this message
7.       Elisabeth
5732 posts
 16 Mar 2014 Sun 02:32 am

This should be 50 signs you´re married to a Turk!  {#emotions_dlg.lol_fast}

viktorijamo and elenagabriela liked this message
8.       gokuyum
5050 posts
 16 Mar 2014 Sun 02:48 am

Most important sign is that you were born 30 years ago in Turkey and have never been abroad

Edited (3/16/2014) by gokuyum

Leo S, evchron, denizli and elenagabriela liked this message
9.       Leo S
183 posts
 04 Jun 2017 Sun 01:12 am


Would have been nice for some if they kept the lower retirement ages

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