It is not about the food. There is a lot of nice, vegetarian food in turkey. Many dishes with cooked vegetables, rice, bulgur, chickpeas and fruits that taste way sweeter and better than in Germany. In the most restaurants it is also possible to find vegetarian options or create it by yourself. But it is uncommon here. If I tell people that I am not eating meat they are proposing me chicken. Isn’t chicken also meat? I learned that in Turkish the word meat doesn’t include chicken, that’s why they were proposing it to me. But I felt that no one came to the idea that I am not eating meat because of ideological and health reasons. There is no awareness for it. People just think I’m not eating it because of the taste. They are kind of kidding with me. For sure not in a bad way but I believe if they would read, think and see more about in what kind of conditions the animals they are eating were living.
Trash and plastic
If you buy a bottle of water (plastic bottle) they are going to put the plastic bottle in a plastic bag, even when it is obvious that you have a backpack where you can put in in. If you say that you don’t need a plastic bag, in the most cases the cashier is looking at you surprised and saying “Why? The bag is for free.” In The supermarket people are using one plastic bag for tomatoes, another one for cucumber and a third one for apples. There is no awareness of the bad affects that plastic has on our planet. Plastic is everywhere.
But what is making me most sad is the trash. On the ground, next to the sea, at the beach…People are just leaving their trash everywhere. At the most beautiful nature places you will find old packages, bottles, cigarettes etc. I don’t want to generalize, the most people I know are taking care and would never let trash on the ground. I heard about projects working against the contamination of the sea and for more awareness of the bad effects of plastic to our environment. And I hope it will get better and better the next years because there are so many beautiful places that shouldn’t get contaminated and destroyed.
I was always complaining about the German bureaucracy. For every issue a paper is needed. A stamp, a signature, millions of documents. Before I came to turkey, I even needed a form called “semester ticket exemption application”. I had to fill a form to not to get the semester ticket. And that is just an example.
But after I came here and had to deal with the residence permit, I realized that in Germany at least the bureaucracy is working somehow. There is a system and there are rules. To get my residence permit I had to collect a lot of documents and while getting them I saw people faking signatures, not doing their work correctly just to save time and earn more money. It was also about my language. My Turkish is still not fluent, so the just used the fact that I can’t explain myself in a good way. The woman in the migration office didn’t want to accept a paper that I brought but when I came the next day together with my boyfriend suddenly, she accepted it. I felt like that everyone is just working and deciding how they want and not according to general rules. Of course, I don’t want to blame someone, but my first contact with Turkish bureaucracy was hard. I also believe that it is hard in every country. Especially if you don’t speak the language and don’t know how things are working. A Turk would experience similar things as me, while being in Germany for a long time period.
If I would count how often people have asked me how I am and how often I answered, “good and you?” It would reach an amount over 1000 I guess. Every morning, every evening, doesn’t matter with whom you meet. Even in the beginning of every single phone call. It is friendly to do so. But I don’t like it. Because it is not really meant seriously. Maybe I am going to start an experiment and answer the question differently and see how people going to react. I think it could be fun.
Frustration. Young people here are often frustrated. Because of the economically situation. They can’t find a job. People who studied law, politics engineering. In almost every conversation, every meeting of young people it is a topic. High educated People are working as waiters or in the summer mostly in the tourism sector in hotels. To find other work seems nearly impossible. Just through “torpil”. I heard that word so often and wanted to know what it means. So, “Torpil” means to get a job through connection. In Berlin the only way to find a flat is to have connections, here it is like that with jobs. And it is making people angry and frustrated. And sometimes I can feel this frustration and it also affects me.