Thursday, August 9, 2012

Random Thoughts on the Turkey

-It's very refreshing to see people smoking outdoors in restaurants. Not because I smoke. Nor because I like the smell of smoke while eating my food. But just because I love the smell of governments not interfering with how private businesses wish to operate their dining establishments.

-Perhaps related to the above, it was interesting to see large-ish (~15-20 storeys) glass office buildings where the windows actually opened, so the building was basically a glass rectangular prism, but with a few windows tilted open. I haven't come across that anywhere else.

-The 'Stray Animals Measure of Poverty' has another out-of-sample confirmation. There's a fair number of them, tilted mainly towards cats for some reason. They mostly look healthy, so it clearly ain't India, and there's definitely more than what I saw in Greece (a perhaps regionally comparable country in some respects, but not others). Sure enough...

-Out of all the places I've been on holiday, the proportion of tourists (not locals) who were speaking English was probably lower than nearly anywhere else I've been. Except for the beach parts in the southwest, which were populated with uncouth Brits on holiday, with all the attendant delights that that brings.

-If I had to nominate something for the language trait most characteristic of Turkish English (at least on the low level of street tourist interactions) it would be beginning sentences with either 'Yes' or 'Yes please'. So you'll walk past a store, and they'll open with 'Yes please, come look at these beautiful necklaces' or 'Yes, what would you like to drink?'. This was common enough that I'm guessing that it's a feature of spoken Turkish that they're just literally translating across to its English equivalent.

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