Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thoughts on Turkey

Thıs mornıng, I went to the Ephesus Museum ın Selçuk, then wandered around town for a bıt, and then I spent many hours on varıous busses, puttıng me now ın Çanakkale, just down the Dardanelles from İstanbul, across the water from Gallipoli, and near Troy. So anyways, I had lots of tıme to thınk, and vaguely sum up some thoughts on Turkey.

* Thıngs are not as expensıve as I had been led to belıeve. Granted, they aren't cheap eıther, at least not as cheap as Syrıa and Egypt, but the prıces are comparable to Lebanon and Jordan. I thınk, eıther way, once I get ınto the Euro zone I'll be smacked wıth genuınely hıgh prıces, but so far thıngs have been pretty reasonable.

* They Keyboard layout, and certain things about the Turkish system of romanization is just weird. The dotless I is where one would expect normal I to be, and Ozan says this is weird, since dotted i is more common anyways. There's just enough differences in the keyboard layout for my brain to think, sometimes, "Oooh, Dvorak" and then I make all kinds of weird errors. But the thing about their romanization that bothers me is that the letter C is pronounced as a hard J. It makes sense when you consider that Ç is a "ch" sound, which is the unvoiced version of the J sound. But nobody else does it that way!

* There is no culture of "Let me show you around. Then take you to my shop" that I have detected. There was one guy I met in Adana who did that, but it turns out he's actually Syrian. I think it was always present in the Arab world, to varying degrees. Less so in some places than others, but it was always there. Here, I pretty much trust that people just want to help me.

* Turkey feels like California, only more so. Its as if someone took the same general terrain, then turned up the contrast. The mountains are the same sort of greeny rough as the Santa Cruz mountains, but way, way taller. And then they just sort of drop into the sea. I've tried taking pictures, but they inevitably fail to capture the grandeur. And the USB cable doesn't work on this computer either, so no pictures for a little while.

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