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Random Stuff About Turkey

April 1, 2009

It was SCARY to drive in Istanbul!  Luckily, we were only in a car once.  The driver was only going about 25-30 mph, but we feared for our lives!  The streets are so narrow, only wide enough for one car, and cars would park along the streets, halfway up on the sidewalks, and pedestrians would walk right in front of cars, or people would open their car doors into the street.  We also saw at least three times where two cars would be going opposite ways down this super narrow street, and one would have to back up down the street to let the other car through.  We also witnessed a car run into the potted plants of a restaurant we were in.  We thought we were safe on the sidewalks until a car needed to get by a stopped van they were unloading and a shop owner guided the car up onto the sidewalk straight for us!  We had to take refuge in a doorway!  Interesting, because road safety is actually a warning to travellers in Turkey from the Embassy there.  I can see why!

Also, taxis honked their horns at us all the time!  After awhile we realized that they were honking at as as kind of a “here’s a taxi in case you need one” kind of thing.

Women who wore the hijab head scarves in Turkey looked really beautiful.  They’ve perfected the hijab so that it looks natural, fashionable, like it would be something I would wear as readily as I wear a headband.  I would say about half the women wear the hijab, and to be honest, about half of those who didn’t tended to look cheap, like they would be wearing lots of  bright makeup and stuff.  That being said, the ones who wore the black hijabs that cover their whole body and more of their face, did not strike me as well socialized.

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 Whenever Brad wore his windbreaker, people thought we were American, whenever he didn’t, they thought we were German.

We ate so much meat there it was ridiculous.  Kabob was everywhere!  Also, tomatoes and cucumbers were served with every meal including breakfast.  I normally like to eat local but toward the end we went for an Italian place and it was miraculous to not have any meat in our meal.  And I was really wanting to branch out in the veggie department too even though I love tomatoes and cucumbers, you know, carrots, broccoli, peas, greenbeans….but no, just tomatoes and cucumbers.

There’s a rampant scam in Turkey where a shoe shiner drops his brush in front of you and when you pick it up or point it out he thanks you profusely and offers to shine your shoes for free.  But then he charges you when he’s done “for supplies” and gets up in your face about it if you don’t want to pay him.  We thought it wasn’t as rampant as people made it seem because it never happened to us….until our last day there…and it happened twice!…and we were both wearing sneakers at the time.

Sometimes people would ask where we were from in the United States.  When we said “Utah”  we usually got two responses. 1. I don’t know where that is.  or 2. Utah Jazz!  Mehmet Okur!  After awhile, Brad always name dropped Mehmet Okur when he told people we were from Utah.  And there was a Jazz game on tv once while we were there.

There’s probably more, but we’ll have to get to them when we think of them.

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3 comments

  1. 1) The “italian place” had Turkish style pizza. Very different from what we are used to, but very tasty.
    2) Tiffany may have ordered a cheese pizza but my “diabolo” pizza was loaded with meat!!!! :p


  2. I loved these random comments. that is what makes the country come alive.


  3. I wish I could visit Turkey some day. Love the country, the faces there…;-)



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