Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What Turks will tell you despite language barriers

Turks are very friendly people, especially to foreigners.

Whenever would pass a Turkish boy on the street, he would say, "Hello, hello, money, money." I don't think that Turkish boys are particularly greedy, but it's funny that hello and money seem to be the first English words they learn.

One time, Paul and I were in the Turkish air museum, and the person working there came up and told us that photography is either allowed or prohibited (I still don't know which). He then showed us the gift shop and a few of the exhibits. He could tell that we didn't speak Turkish, but he kept speaking to us in Turkish. He then kept saying something about Obama, and looked happy, and then said Bush, and grimaced.

There were many times that Turks who don't speak English would tell us about how they like Obama but not Bush. The other big thing that Turks who don't speak English will try to communicate is their pride in Mehmet Okur, the Turkish basketball player with the Utah Jazz.

On my last day in Turkey, I was trying to figure out where I should wait for the bus to take me to the Sivis Otel, where I could catch a shuttle to the airport. I asked, in Turkish, a person who works for the bus system if he spoke English. He immediately walked out of his booth and called out to the crowd, I presume asking for an English-speaker. One came up and translated directions to me. Then, I heard the worker say something about Israel and Palestine, so I had time to be overcome by dread before the translator asked me my opinion of the current situation in Gaza.

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