Thursday, July 2, 2009

Interview with the Parents

So our whirlwind tour of Turkey has sadly come to an end. Shipped the parental units off last night (with postcards to mail from Canada b/c it is so much cheaper! heh heh). To conclude their travels I decided to host a brief interview of their experiences, perceptions and (mis)perceptions of Turkish culture.

Question 1. You were culture shocked! What were the most shocking things you saw?
  • Your neighbourhood; kids running around at all hours, garbage floating around, stray cats and dogs everywhere, the men selling random things from the backs of trucks, when a truck came spraying pesticides on the kids and women, when they had a herd of sheep and they slaughtered one right in the street! Roosters crowing although we are in the most urban part of the city.
  • The toilets!!! " 'cuz they are just a hole in the ground surrounded by ceramic and you have to squat over it. Not a big fan."
  • The streets; people weaving among cars, taxis driving aggressively, narrow steep streets
  • The restaurant district and how pushy they can be.
  • A woman sitting in the dirty street in her wedding dress
  • How well dressed people in the slums are
  • No one wears a helmet on motorcycles and mopeds
  • How cows and horses graze beside a four lane highway and there is no fences to stop them from going on the road
  • Men selling water on a big highway at night, weaving between cars
  • How men sometimes gawk at single women... especially the blondes! More so than home even!
  • How swank the buses are- stewards serving drinks and treats; also how the spare bus driver sleep under the bus with the luggage!
  • In small towns people drive tractors like cars with the whole family loaded in the back
  • Muslim women swimming the full hijabb
  • The food! not like home hence Daddy-O's gastrointestinal illness

Question 2: What is the same to home?

  • McDonalds, Burger King etc... (McDonalds has a McTurk burger heh heh)
  • Irish Pubs
  • People dress pretty much the same except for the predominance of muslim women, which we have at home but not as many

Question 3: Favorite places or experiences?


  1. Shopping in the bazaar and Istiklal cadessi... "I am bad at haggling though!"
  2. Visiting my first mosque, much different than a church but very beautiful.
  3. Boat cruise of the Bosphorus was relaxing
  4. Loved the Topkapi palace, the Harem and the "Big diamond... which was 186 karats!!!"
  5. Cappadocia was "Freaking awesome"; the underground city was "amazing but scary"; our cave hotel was beautiful, peaceful and the staff was astoundingly friendly
  6. Fields upon fields of sunflowers on the Gallipoli peninsula
  7. Trying 'real' Turkish Delight


  1. Seeing the old mopeds they drive around, some more than 30 years old!
  2. Gallipoli, the tour of Anzac cove
  3. Going to the Flintstone bar with a young Canadian couple we met, they have a fire going there...and good music
  4. The best night was the night on the town with our Turkish movie star friend in Istanbul!
  5. The 160 km per hour ride down the mountain from our Cabbie guide that took us on the Anzac tour; Mom put her seatbelt on as they hammered it down winding roads and he laughed exclaiming "Do not worry! I drove a tank for 18 months!"

Question 4: Overall impressions? Messages?

  • Even more different than we expected! But fun!
  • The Turkish people were extremely friendly and very hospitable and nice (way friendlier compared to our trip to Scotland!)
  • It is safe! Some people in Canada view Turkey as a very dangerous place which it is not at all... we felt safe the entire time!

And so Jack and I continue on the last leg of our journey... Two brave souls set out into the great unknown... We are thinking about camping out on the Black Sea for a few days before catching a flight to Isreal.

1 comment:

  1. D & J- The units are back safely...and sleeping:)
    It was great to see all the both look great and healthy!
    I love the story of the woman in her wedding dress...I guess we won`t pick a dirty alleyway as our venue....sigh...
    We LOVE our gifts...they are perfect for us:)
    The treats have been sooooo good too...the love gum...the chocolates....not so much the `rose` Turkish Delights which we decided tastes like your Gramma`s bathroom smells....oh, and that `special` bar you brought back was awesomely funny! Those Turkish corn chips were loved by one would be opposed to you bringing back more...;)
    Stay Safe:)
    SYan & JMac