Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wednesday Mailbag

I loved this post! And the underwear aisle pic cracked me up. I booked my plane ticket to Greece/ Turkey. I will be be in Turkey next year. Here's a second question for your mailbag: If you had to characterize the Turkish people in five adjectives, what words would you choose and why?


Dear Allie,

First of all, so happy to hear you will be visiting this fine region soon. Our tiny door is always open.

Your question is an interesting one.

Firstly, it begs the question, how many Turkish people do I think read this blog?

Assuming it's even one, we'll have to go for the sanitized answer.

It's really not that bad.
There's just certain things that I think a Turkish colleague would probably take offense to reading.


I find Turks sensitive.

They have very firm feelings about their country and the historical figures that have helped build it.
Trying to challenge any of the beliefs or doctrines (or football teams) is not taken lightly.
Or sometimes at all.

After my trip to the health center yesterday, I would say any surviving, thriving Turk would have to be quite resilient. Hardy. Fit.
This was the sink in the doctor's office.

Oh, and after taking a swab from my throat, the Dr. wiped it on a microscope slide, wrapped the slide in paper from his desk, then told me to take the slide to Ankara (isn't that where I am?) and ask them to run some tests on it.

Turks also have that warm, welcoming attitude I've found to be so common in warm-weather regions.


Turkey is entering a very new place in its life. It's home to some of the world's oldest civilizations, but is still struggling with a very new democracy.
Turks haven't decided yet where they should head and most are shy to take leadership roles for fear of failure.


Turks are very proud of where they come from and who they are. Countless red Turkish flags coat the city. It's like one day there was a brigade of 200 Turkish hot air balloons, and they all popped and fell to drape the buildings, streets, parks, walls, bathrooms.

Ataturk, the country's most revered leader, is pictured everywhere.
His bust is everywhere. I'm pretty sure there is a factory in Ankara solely dedicated to making Ataturk busts.
His masoleum is here in Ankara and every Turk is suppose to try and visit it as least once in their life to pay their respects.

The Turks stand by their heritage.

I'm eager to see how that list of adjectives changes during our time here.

Wonder what 5 adjectives the Turks would use to describe us?



This is Chris and I am also looking forward to your visit. And thanks for your question. I will now invent five adjectives which describe Turkish people.

1. Frumptious

It's like boisterous and like gregarious, but frumpier. Their boistrous gregariousness is tempered by a frumpy edge. I don't know how to make this any clearer for you.

2. Foodylic

Anytime a Turk has food in their hand they offer it to you. Then when you politely decline, they lean in close and offer it you again. Extremely generous about food to the point of discomfort.

3. Conspicutouchy

Every time I go to the hardware store, there are at least three couples of middle-aged men walking arm-in-arm through the store shopping. The women couples are even more numerous. But these aren't couples. They're family members, friends, or even just co-workers. This is how people walk together in Turkey, with their hands all over each other. Prepare to be touched early, often and in public.

4. Predonktable

When driving a Turk will honk his horn no less than three times during the trip, regardless of distance traveled, time elapsed or lack of legitimate cause.

5. Sugarphoric

Turks love sweets. And the sweeter the better. Every day at lunch I watch my Turkish colleagues eat a plate of stuff that in the 
States would only be served in a hummingbird feeder. 
I tried to eat it once but I couldn't finish, because I immediately developed diabetes and lost consciousness.

Have a great hump day and keep the questions coming!! 


  1. Chris shouldn't you be on double secret mailbag probation?

  2. Thanks! It really will be interesting to see how/if your five words change during your time there. I hope you are keeping all of these blog entries somewhere. What a great keepsake/scrapbook they will make! And who knows, Chris' new words may find their way into a dictionary at some point.