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Portuguese guy moves to Istanbul, learns turkish and lives the new culture.
Um português em Istanbul
Bir portekiz İstanbul'da

Location: Turkey


İlginç ve komik şeyler Türkiye'de

I'm finishing the 3rd month of turkish school this week. I won't be continuing the next levels for now. One of the last homeworks at school was writing a composition about Interesting and comik things in Turkey. So for the great honnor of you all I'll share my writings with the world through this blog:

Benim için Türkiye'de çok farklı ve ilginç şeyler var.
Mesela Kolonya, her yerde var ve herkes kullanır! Her lokanta, kahve, bar , otobüste, yemek varsa, kolonya peçetesi var. Ve restoranda hesapla garson bir kolonya şişesini getirip herkesin eline döker. Kolonya hem güzel kokar hem de eli temizler, çok iyi!
Ve terlikler, her eve normal ayakkabımla girmemeliyim, evin kapısında ayakkabılarımı çıkarmam lazim ve varsa terlik kullanabilirim. Bu da hijyenik bir şey!
Ve tuvaletler. İki tip var: alafranga ve alaturka hela. Alaturka tuvalet kullanamam ama alafrangasında ilginç bir özellik var, bir musluğu açınca su geliyor, suyla "her şeyi" temizleyebilirim. Burada tuvalet kağıdı temizlemez, o sadece kurutur! Her şey tertemiz!

For me Turkey has very different and comik things.
For example cologne, you can find it anywhere and everyone uses it! All restorants, cafes, bars, buses, if there is food there are cologne napkins. And at the restorant, with the check the garson brings a cologne bottle and pours it on everyone's hands. Cologne smells good and cleans your hands, very good!
And slippers, I can't get in any house with my normal shoes on, at the house door I need to take my shoes off and if there are slippers I can use them. This is also an higyenik thing!
And toilets. There are two types: Alafranga and alaturka toilets. I can't use the alaturka but there is an interesting functionality wıth the alafranga toilet, when you open this tap water comes out, with the water you can clean "everything". In here toilet paper is not for cleaning, it's only used for drying! Everything oh so clean!

Ok, for writing this masterpiece I had 14 grammar errors, which is ok... I specially had some prblems explaining how toilets work!


What a boat ride!

Yesterday I had a very different boat ride on the Marmara sea! Everyday I cross the Bosphurus by boat but never I had a trip like that one!
The wind was strong and the sea had big waves, I was on the fast ferry with N. who isn't used to go on the boat. After 2 minutes I could see we were in for a good ride! the boat was jumping up and down, left and right, really high! For me it was fun in the begining "Wow! Better than anything you get in the amusement fairs!" but after 20 minutes of this, it started to become annoying. N. was scared and feeling bad from her stomach all the way, and she was not the only one, I think I heard about 10 people vomiting in the boat... Also there was a lot of scared faces, you cannot believe how much that boat was jumping!
The boat inside is similar to a plane, with many rows of seats, about 200 people inside. It has closed doors not supposed to be opened during the trip. But it was really hot inside and it was getting hard to breath, so this guy got up (he is considered a hero by N.) and walked the corridor which was not easy at all and opened the door and standed there keeping the door open, I could see the water outside jumping high and getting in through the door!
I also decided to get up and get some bags from the garbage boxes in the corridor to distribute through the people near me that were not so sure they could keep the lunch in...
After 45 minutes we arrived our destiny, a trip that usually takes 25 minutes and is oh so fast and smooth! N. was still shaking, but after a hot tea recovered well, I was feeling sick in my stomach and couldn't think about eating for about 1 hour. We were planing to visit the Prince Islands in the Marmara sea this weekend, but after this we decided to make it some other time...


Lemon cologne is a very popular thing in Turkey. A strong lemon and alcohol liquid, they use it in bottles and in those closed packs with a wet napkin inside.

It's very common to find cologne napkin packs in cafes, restaurants, bars, buses with food service, everywhere you can eat! And it's very common for people to carry these napkins around with them, specially girls in their purses.

The garson in the restaurant usually brings the bottle fo cologne with the check and fills everyone's hands with it. In turkish houses it's considered good manners for the house owners to offer cologne in their guests hands.

Smells good, and desinfects at the same time! You have to love it!


Understanding Ankara

We're on holydays now, ramazan finished and there is 4 days vacation. People eat a lot of chocolats and sweets, they travel to visit family around the country, they finally can drink alcohol, it's party time!

I don't have family to visit but on these vacations I came to Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. I have been here before but I didn't know any turkish, now it feels completely different! It's interesting to walk around the streets and think about how it was before, I couldn't read anything on the shops, when I was alone I went to some shops allways made a big effort to buy food and other things, in Istanbul it's common to find someone that speaks some english, but in Ankara it's really hard! Now I go back to the shops and have big conversations with them: "Hi, remember me? now what did you want to tell me 6 months ago?" :) It's a different city!



Yesterday I woke up at 7:00 like everyday, caught the train and the boat to the european side, like everyday, and caught the bus to the school, like everyday. In the bus I standed in between the crowd, then the bus stopped, I thought traffik light was red... Feeling unconfortable with the bag on my back and thinking "Why is the #%&/ bus taking so much time to move, I'm late!" I put the bag on the floor and looked through the window, cars weren't moving "Oh no, another accident!", a woman came out of the car and was standing straight looking ahead, then I noticed no one was speaking in the bus! Ah! No one was moving! Then I looked to the watch, 9:05. Hmm, That's the time of Atatürk death, I remembered that when I visited Dolma Bahçe Palace they told us clocks in the palace were stopped in the 9:05 position because he died in that minute.

So, for 1 minute Turkey stops (except ignorant foreigners who think they got in the twilight zone), they tell me that even cars on the highways stop at this time! Atatürk is probably the most important person in this country. If you ever come to Turkey it's impossible not notice him. In every office, shops, restaurants, parks, hotels, schools you see either a picture or statue of him. From him I hear only good things "he saved our country", "Turkey could be just like Iran!", I think I only heard bad comments about him when I went to Greece! He's not a popular guy over there.

So, I guess I owe to him the fact that I can be here and feel so much at home. Long live Atatürk!