Welcome to Science Jim on Tour!

Hi folks, welcome to the Science Jim and family travel blog. We're touring Turkey! Why Turkey?!?!? It has housed civilizations for over 6000 years!!! Have you heard of Troy...it's in Turkey! Constantinople...it's in Turkey! The eternal flame of Olympus...it's in Turkey! That's just for starters!

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Turkey Thoughts: Men

Something that was a little hard to get used to in Turkey was that men are very touchy feely with one another. It was very common to see men of almost any age walking either with one fellow having his arm over another one's shoulders or around another man's waist or arm in arm. In the U.S. it's not too unusual to see woman doing something like this but very rarely men. These, by the way, are not homosexual men. It's just the way men relate to one another. Honestly, it's kinda neat once you get used to it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Turkey Thoughts: Cats

Cats are everywhere! Everywhere you look you see cats. If you hate cats...don't go to Turkey! These aren't pet cats either. These are wild independent kitties! Curiously, they are fairly well behaved. Like I said, they are everywhere, which means picnic areas and outdoor cafes (which are also everywhere). We had several cats watch us while we ate but there was no begging or aggressive behavior. That's not to say they were all pristine show kitties. Some of these little furballs were a little bedraggled. Most were in good shape though. Dogs were fairly common as well but mainly in public parks.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Turkey Thought: Driving

AHHHHH!!!! That pretty much sums it up. Driving in Turkey is bonkers! Curiously, we never saw or heard an accident while we were there. Drivers were very attuned to other drivers and pedestrians. We never drove ourselves. There's no way we'd survive. But we did take bunches of busses, taxis and vans and it was often a harrowing experience! Rule of thumb, the smaller the vehicle, the more insane the ride! In Istanbul, the roads were often only wide enough for one car. That, however, did not mean that they were one-way roads. Nope, somehow cars going both ways would navigate up and down the road. I think there may have been some rules of physics broken on that one! The use of horns is different then here. Usually, here a honk is a cars way of swearing at another car. But in Turkey, quick short honks usually mean "Don't forget that I'm here" or "Excuse me, I'm coming through". One last thing, traffic lanes are more of a guideline than a rule.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Turkey Thoughts: Salesmen

This just about drove me crazy the first few days we were in Turkey. Salesmen are everywhere. All over the streets selling food, toys, souvenirs, water, tea, ice cream and more. One guy was even selling fortune telling provided by his (apparently psychic) rooster or rabbit! Another older woman graciously offered the kids food for the pigeons, only to later charge us a lira for it! Also, everyone apparently has a cousin that owns a carpet store and he just can't wait to show us the amazing deals...today only! GAAA!!! Here's some tips. Hier means "no" in Turkish...however...it has no meaning to salesmen. Well, wait, I take that back. It means apparently, "please tell me more" or perhaps "I would like you to ask me where I'm from". Asking you where you are from gets the conversation started and tells them, since they set prices by what country you're from, how much they can charge you for stuff. Sonra means "later". That works, except that these folks have amazing memories and they WILL remember you if you happen to pass the store again! Istamiyorum means "I don't want" That works pretty well and they are usually impressed enough with your command of Turkish to realize your not a complete dupe.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Turkey Thoughts: The Bill

Hi folks,

Well, we've been home for a while now and I've finally gotten over jetlag and gotten myself back up to speed. I'm going to write a few entries on things we noticed in Turkey that we haven't really had a chance to talk about in the blog. These aren't necessarily big famous things, just things I noticed that Turkey does different then we do. Enjoy!

Today's is about the bill. In Turkey, they never give you the bill at the end of the meal. At first, I thought the waitstaff was just being lazy or rude but it turns out it's really kinda cool. You have to ask for your bill because it would be considered rude if the waiter brought the bill out to you! Putting the bill on the table basically says "Well, you've eaten our food. Now get out!" There's never any hurry to leave a restaurant in Turkey and they are happy to have you stay all day if you wish. By the way, the way to say check please is "Hesap (check) Lutfen (please)!"