Thursday, 3 October 2013

Which Side Are You On?

I was sitting in the barber's chair the other day and I thought to myself "I should probably blog this". It was one of those weird times. Not because of what I was doing, but the context in which I was doing it. I can't even say it was the weirdest or most bloggable thing I've done in the inexcusably long time since I last blogged something. But the blog crossed my mind. And so, I'm doing it. Perhaps I'll get around to the enormous list of other weirdness that surrounds an Englishman in Turkey. But for the moment I'll just tell you about sitting in a barber's chair, holding an iPad, pointing at the screen and saying "can you cut it like his?".

"Let me see it again" asked the barber after a few minutes.

"Sure" I said and showed him the following picture:

I don't know why it struck me as something to blog. The thought of me trying to explain who Billy Bragg was perhaps. The fact we shared the same name. That a Turkish barber should be studying and trying to emulate the cut of Billy Bragg's hair.

Perhaps it was just the converging of these two very different but very real worlds. For me Billy Bragg is the epitome of everything I hold dear about England and the barber, his Turkish counterpart.

There is a deeper connection, and it was perhaps this that struck somewhere under the gown. When writing this blog about my observations of the Turkish culture and the inevitable comparisons I would draw from my British up-bringing, there has always been an underlying truth. As much as I love my home and as much as I may seem to criticise this brave new world, Billy Bragg said it best... "I'm not looking for a new England".

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Safety Last

I saw this ingenious invention in a friend's car the other day. For drivers who don't want to be disturbed by some pesky alarm warning you of your precarious position when you're not wearing your seat belt. I give you the danger neutraliser...

Simply plug this device into your seat belt socket and cleverly fool your car into thinking you actually give a shit about not hurtling through your windscreen.

Cheaper solutions are also available:

  • Repeatedly clicking the release button on the seat belt socket whenever the alarm sounds. Time consuming but effective.
  • Locking the seat belt in place before entering the car. Then sitting on it. This technique is a favourite of taxi drivers.
  • Wearing your seat belt.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Fezaurus #11

Karpuzun hamı. Topalın amı - A ripe watermelon. A lame girl's twat.

Both extremely sweet apparently. The watermelon is fairly self-explanatory. The girl with a limp? Due to the fact she don't get out much, it is assumed she would be equipped with, what Mike Reid might describe as, a mouse's ear 'ole in her downstairs department.

BTW... good to be back :)

Monday, 10 October 2011

My name is Death...

Yes, it's that time of year again. I've got man-flu. And, as any woman will know, man-flu can seem to be almost life-threatening. When I was a child, my mother gave me a little bell that I would ring any time I needed something. She knew the power of man-flu.

One thing that always trips me up linguistically is that, in the Turkish language, you don't 'have' an illness, you 'become' one. So, currently, I am a cold. Strange, I know.

A: Bad news, I'm afraid. Murat is cancer.
B: Bad news? That's great news! Let's drown the cunt and save millions of lives!

Should I survive, I will write again soon.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Rich man, Poor man, Beggar man, Rapist

I've just eaten 27 olives. I remember my auntie's rhyme of 'tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor' but it only goes up to 8. So I've come up with my own Turkish version:

Rich man
Poor man
Beggar man

Shoe shiner
Taxi driver
Mussel seller
Fez maker
Raki drinker
Tea bringer
Ageing singer

Nut adjuster
Goods duster
Simit baker
Watch maker
Breast enlarger
Ahmet's father

Rubbish trawler
Street bawler
Belly dancer
Tourist stalker
Kerb crawler
Loud talker

...result! What were the chances of landing on the only bird?

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Only in Turkey...

Can you find Tesco Value Doner meat.

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Friday, 9 September 2011

Revenge of the Fez

On this day, 89 years ago, a surging Turkish army and mobs of Turkish citizens drove out the occupying Greek nation from Izmir. "The day we taught the Greeks to swim" I've heard uttered jokingly, referring to the way they were, allegedly, pushed into the gloomy waters of Izmir Bay.

Reports say that during the initial invasion by the Greek military, "the [Turkish locals] are forced to tear the fezes from their heads and trample them underfoot". In return, during the war of independence, anyone wearing a hat other than a fez was forced to go for a swim.

All rather confused considering the Fez apparently originates from the Greek islands of the Aegean. Even Ataturk himself referred to it as "the head-covering of Greeks" before outlawing it.

Anyway, tonight there will be fireworks along Kordon (the bar-lined promenade central to Izmir's social scene). A boat with the words "Happy 9th September" will crawl up and down the bay. It's also the time of the great Izmir Fair (think The Ideal Home Exhibition but with more gypos and mosquitoes).

In other news, I moved job, moved house, went on 4 holidays, grew 2 moustaches, 1 massive beard, attended 1 funeral, 0 weddings and haven't written anything on this blog for close to 3 months. For that, I apologise. Thank you to Burak for the kind email that gave me a kick up the arse needed to write something.

Also, a massive thank you to Danny for the iPhone which should help me to take snapshots and post them directly whenever and wherever. Thank you for Peter for jumping on Danny and asking him to give me the iPhone. Thank you to O2 for unlocking it for a mere £15 (gypo cunts).

Thank you to Turkish Telecom, in advance, for shutting my iPhone down in a few weeks until I can have it registered on my passport, which I can't do until the visas come through, which I can't do until the Ministry of Education decides I'm still OK to teach English. Thank you to Turkcell for stealing two of my lunch breaks while I waited to speak to some miserable moron who had no fucking clue about the necessary procedure for registering a foreign mobile yet spoke with unwavering authority.

Until next time...