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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



Happy New Year!!!
Countdown in Portugal and Turkey.


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone!
Check out Lisbon.


Back in PT

Im back in Portugal for christmas. Since I arrived I've been meeting all the family and friends and sharing the news from the last 4 months.Things are more or less the same with small exceptions like, the country government went into pieces and a train tunel in Lisbon is almost collapsing.
I hope I can see everyone before I go back to Istanbul before the end of the year.


Gelinim Olur musun?

Those who know me better know that I'm a big fan of reality shows like Big Brother! Just recently I discovered the best show in Turkish TV "Gelinim Olur musun" (Would you be my bride?), I have been watching as much as I can even though it's so hard for me to understand.
So here's how it works: In a closed house, watched by cameras there were in the begining 5 bachelors, their mothers and 10 eligible bachelorettes. They socialize among theirselves, there is a system of elimination and by now there are 3 guys with mums and 4 girls.
First I didn't get what was the point of having the guy's mum around but now I understood. In Turkey a mother can have a very important part in deciding who the son marries!
So here's what I saw: Ata (a guy) and Sinem (a girl) are in love with each other, they decided they would marry, so they called for the rings and the cake that the production offers to make the engagement party. But Semra (the mother) disagreed! When Ata went to a room with his mother to tell her about his decision she went mad! From what I understood she first threatned to break his 32 teeth and then said that he had to choose betwen this girl and his mother! You should see this woman screaming and threatning! She looks like the devil in person! Also from what I understood the reason for the mother's dislike is an episode that hapened before in the house where Sinem (the girl) made the comment "Crazy Semra" in front of Semra (the mother).
As a result of this dislike by the mother the young couple decided to unmake the decision of engagement.
Every morning the same channel has this 2 hours show about what's happening in the house, they invite the old guests of the house, the remaining parents of the guys and girls and the audience is welcomed to comment. It's crazy! Women shouting at each other defending the mother or defending the girl!! I loooove it!



2 Weeks ago disaster happened, my portable pc disk crashed! This was really bad, because I depended on this laptop for so many things! And worse of all... I didn't backup my files!!!
Fortunately I was able to find a representant of Acer in Istanbul! They were really helpfull, they replaced the bad disk and recovered as much as they could from the old one, and all this for free since the laptop is still in the guarantee period! I was impressed!
I had planned to spend this last 2 weeks before going to Portugal sending CV's and searching job but I ended up spending most of the time finding a way to get the laptop back to work... Now the worse thing is I lost all the fotos I took in this 4 months in Istanbul!!! :( I think I had about 300 fotos! All the places and people I met here... no pictures to remember them...
So I take this oportunity to send a message to you all: Backup your files!


Transports in Istanbul

Transports in Istanbul are very dıfferent from whatever I saw before.
First the otobüs'es. There are the public ones (red and blue) and the private ones (green). Many times the buses compete for clients and for space. In the important squares there are so many in so little room! You can see them doing the most incredible manouvers to go through the small space and start their journey. There are bus stops, but you can actually hop in and hop off wherever you want, just make the signal to the driver.
Then taxi's. They are everywhere! I think it must be really easy to be a taxi driver here because there are so many! When you walk by the road they are honking at you all the time to get you in their cab, but this is a generic thing for all transports, everyone honks for clients, even buses! Taxis are cheap here and people use them to go short ways when there is no other transport or they are in a big hurry!
Then dolmuş'es. They are yellow like the taxi's but not normal cars, they are vans that can take 8 people inside. They do pre-defined paths, they wait in the departure point until they have 8 clients and then they start they way. When it starts you tell the driver where you are going and pay the repective ammount which is well known depending on the area you go to. You can get out whenever you want, just tell the driver and he stops and opens the automatic door for you. You can also get in the dolmuş anywhere in between their path, but you must find a dolmuş that has an empty sit. He will never take more than 8 people inside. I think in the old days this rule didn't exist, because dolmuş means 'filled'!
Then minibus'es. They are my favourites! If you want to have some fun, hop in a dolmuş! These are usually the 'filled' ones'! I suggest the one that goes from Kadıköy to Pendik through the minibus caddesi! It's a trip filled with excitment, friendship and... people! Ok, here's how it works. A minibus has about 13 sitting places, the driver waits in the departure point until all the sits are occupied, then the journey starts! As in dolmuş'es when you get in you say where you're going and pay the driver, since a minibus is a crowded place you usually don' pay directly to the driver, you must pass the money and the destination to someone in front of you, who will pass to someone else until it gets to driver, then the change comes back through the same path. For a foreigner this can be really confusing because in the begining everyone is paying and there's money and destinations flowing all around the bus! Also you'll probably be part of this chain so you will be passing money and destination of someone else (in the begining I was just passing the money because I could never understand where they were going!). I think there' no limit on how many people a minibus can have, no matter how full the truck is the driver will allways stop to get another client! I really admire minibuses drivers, I think they have superpowers because they can do 5 things at the same time: They honk at everyone on the side walk and stop anywhere to let them in, they stop anywhere to let clients out, they receive the money and give change to new clients, they smoke cigarets and answer mobile phones anytime and finally they drive in Istanbul streets! And they drive like crazy! If there is still any rule that normal cars obbey in these roads, the minibuses will ignore all of them, they change lanes any time just to be faster or to get/drop clients on the side and they rarely stop on red signs.