Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday Mailbag

Chris and Sarah,

I was thinking about you last night b/c these past two weeks have been premiere week for TV shows...what kind of TV shows do you get over there? Also, what do people in Turkey think about Americans...about the presidential election, etc...is it on their radar screens at all????

Much love,
Julie


Julie,

Chris here. I get to be the straight man and Sarah gets to goof on my answer this time. Division of labor.

The few times I have spoken with the Turks about their views on the election I have noticed that the only opinion I have consistently heard voiced is that no matter who wins, it will be good that Bush is gone. The Bush administration did a lot during its tenure to sour people on their idea of what America is all about. But the Turks I mix with (teachers) seem to be intelligent enough to realize that the Bush administration doesn't reflect the values or the principles of all Americans, and thus I don't sense much of a negative or positive stereotype from the Turks.

But the Canadians? They hate us. They do their best to be polite and they're civil to us and everything, but every chance they get they're making fun of our credit cards ("What? You're paying with cash? I didn't think Americans had any cash left!"), they're making fun of our food ("How have you guys made it this long without a Big Mac?"), or they're insulting our sedentary lifestyle ("You walked to work today? I'll bet you're the only two Americans on the planet that did!"), etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

There is one stereotype that the Turks love to flaunt at us, but I wouldn't necessarily call it a negative one, more a hilariously inaccurate one. Turks love it when we tell them we come from Texas. As soon as they hear that, they make their finger into a gun and say 'bang bang' at us, or ask us about our horses or our boots. And some of them think of Texas the way we think of Iraq: as a dangerous place to be. A couple of Turks (including one very vocal cab driver) have voiced their disbelief to me at the large number of executions which happen in the Texas justice system. To them, since the people being killed are mostly non-white, and they are non-white, Texas seems like a dangerous place. Definitely an eye-opening perspective.

And as for TV, we don't own one. But we have figured out how to watch any TV show whenever we want through the magic of the information superhighway. We're both really thankful that Al Gore invented it for us.

Love,

Chris

Dear Julie,

Going second is really hard.

I'm so tempted to talk about how Chris is a nag and how I will from now on refer to him as Coat Hook (capital C, capital H) in an attempt to avoid any confusion.

But seriously, let's talk about the Canadians.

They do make fun of us, in front of us, with very little empathy.

They wake at 5am and go running, eat carrots dipped in vitamins and have perfect teeth.

I'm curious what the Turks think of them.

I think the Turks find a lot more similarities between themselves and Americans than they find between themselves and the Canadians.

As noted in another mailbag, Turks like food - Americans like food.

Turks like honking their horns- Americans like honking their horns.

Turks like sugary foods - Americans love sugary foods.

Canadians wouldn't consider eating half of the stuff in a Turkish grocery store, they don't have horns on their cars, rather if they need to tell someone to go because the light has changed colors they simply get out of their car, knock on the offending car's window, politely ask the car to move and then invite the driver to dinner to make up for interrupting their day.
And Canadians will only eat sugar if they are eating it while running on a treadmill and simultaneously having a tooth cleaning.

The Turks absolutely know about the American election.

Today in Chris's class I watched him ask a class of Turkish fourth-graders,"Who is running for President in the USA" and the kids all shot up their hands with correct answers.

TV?  We have no Turkey TV but we hear we're not missing much.

Eventually we'll stay at a hotel that has TV and we'll report back to you.

For now we watch all the same shows you do, but for free and without commercials.

It's a nice little life Coat Hook and I have made for ourselves.

We hope you all can come over soon and experience it for yourself.

Much love,
Sarah

1 comment:

  1. Danielle TsamourisOctober 25, 2008 at 5:34 PM

    I would like both of you to know that I absolutely love reading the blog and watching the videos. You guys are right up there with Perez Hilton and My Space. I check for blogs everyday. Thanks for making me laugh. I love the creativity and you guys make the cutest couple. Sarah, I miss you more than anything. We had some really great times growing up. Keep blogging. It makes my day. Love,
    Danielle

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