Lucky for me, 14 February is also my anniversary of the day I came to Turkey. So this is not a bitter Valentine's Day post. It's just a post wherein I extoll my gladness for having come to Turkey 12 years ago.
At the time I came here, I believed I was coming to Istanbul for love. In retrospect that whole thing was a delicious delusion but it turned out very well indeed because it wasn't love at all, though in the end it ended up being something like that.
And so I've decided to grace you with one of these damned lists that the Internet keeps churning out. In honor of my 12 years in Istanbul, here's a list of 12 things that tell me I've been in Istanbul for 12 years.
Please note that I will not mention tea or people's hospitality because yawn. I'm bored to death of those newbie lists.
1) The other day I marched into the eczane and requested yeast infection medication. Then I asked for some cream for the itching, and the guy asked where it itched, and I said, "My vagina." The eczane crowd of gawkers wasn't as big as usual, but it was all male. What can I do sometimes?
|Now they've paved the cobbles along the tracks to make it easier for TOMAs to pass.|
4) I've started telling people off for stuff like cutting in line or polishing their nails in restaurants.
5) Forgetting my wallet at home is no reason not to do the grocery shopping. You can always pay it back later.
|This, for example, is not traffic.|
7) I went to the dentist last week for a filling and he offered to do it without anesthetic and I accepted. He didn't even charge me for the filling.
8) I can sometimes tell what people really mean in Turkish by how and when they say it.
9) I have never bought terlik in my life, yet I have a healthy supply of terlik.
10) An empty water bottle makes an excellent football. All the kids in the schoolyard are doing it.
11) When going to have a meal or a drink outside any time that's not summer with a group friends that has Turkish people in it, I check with the Turks if they have issues about getting cold. If they do (and this is a thing), then we sit inside.