Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dictionary Danger

So yesterday while Chris was busy putting prophetic messages into random Turkish library books, I stayed at home and waited for the microwave repairman.

As some of you may recall, two weeks ago Chris and I bought a microwave.
We're too Western for the heating of any object to take longer than 2-3 minutes.  We especially cannot be bothered to use an oven to reheat pizza.  This is not okay.

So we bought a microwave down at Real for 100YTL.

The first night we heated up some leftover soup.  It took about twice as long as it should have, but it was better than turning on the gas stove top.

The next night we attempted to reheat a piece of pizza.
2 minutes...nothing.
4 minutes...nothing.
12 minutes...still ice cold.

Apparently microwaves in Turkey are one-trick ponies.  
They're going to heat one item for you, but if want anything beyond that, you're going to have to go buy another microwave.

Chris and I refused to believe we were going to have to throw the thing out, and we refused to haul it back down the hill without its box and try in our broken Turkish to return it.

So Chris used his resources, found the warranty number, called the company and they agreed to send a repairman out.

So yesterday afternoon while I'm trying to figure out how to nail things into the wall, Mr. Microwave arrives.

He puts some plastic booties over his shoes so as not to dirty our house (Turks are very sensitive to dirt and dust).

I show him into the kitchen.  He puts down his tool box, grabs a glass, fills it with water, places it in the microwave, sets the timer to 10 seconds, closes the door, watches the glass spin around for about 3 seconds, turns to me and says "yes, problem."

He then starts making hand motions at me and I use my context clues to guess he probably wants to see the warranty.

I go fetch what looks like the instruction manual and hope that will suffice.

Mr. Microwave man takes the manual but then shakes his head and starts gesturing at me again.

Hmmmm...what else could he want?

Ah!  I know, I'll go get my bilingual dictionary.

I go grab our handy dandy Turkish-English dictionary and proudly hand it over to Mr. Microwave man.
He chuckles at my idea but then begins to flip through the pages, excited at the prospect of finding the word he wants to communicate.

Finally he finds it and we stand closer together so he can point at the word and I can read the English definition.

"satir" - large knife for cutting meat; cleaver

Wow.  I was way off with warranty's and paperwork, I thought.  This guy wants a knife so he can start dismantling the microwave and fix it right now.

So I open a drawer in the kitchen and pull out the biggest steak knife I can find.
I turn around to offer it to Mr. Microwave man.

Mr. Microwave man nearly topples over the trashcan as he stumbles backwards into the corner of our kitchen, clearly afraid for his life.

"Hayir, hayir!", (no, no) he exclaims!

He holds the dictionary back out for me and we stand close together to peer at it again.

I look closer and notice that he is pointing at the word right above "satir".  The word "satir almak" - to buy, purchase.

Mr. Microwave man simply wants to know when we purchased the microwave and I went and pulled a meat cleaver on him.

Well, he definitely had something to tell his family about last night.

The story ends with Mr. Microwave man unplugging our microwave and carting it away.

Either he's bringing it back in a "hafta" (week), or he's sending a rabbi to our house.

We'll let you know.

(Oh, and Chris, you can be sure photo-revenge is coming your way...)

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