50 signs you’ve been in Turkey too long

It is a great list prepeared a A Spanish expat who identifies the tell-tale symptoms:

1. You automatically take off your shoes when entering a house.

2. You’ve tried all the types of street food Istanbul offers: corn, stuffed mussels, chickpeas on rice, nuts, pomegranate juice, popcorn…

3. Not a day goes by without drinking at least one çay (tea). If it does, you feel weird about it.

4. Friends don’t invite you to their homes for dinner, but for breakfast.

5. You know the name of the guy at the bakkal (corner store) on your street.

6. Everything is çok (very): çok güzel, çok iyi, çok ayıp…

7. You have started to answer questions by repeating the answer (evet, evet; var, var; hayır, hayır; yok, yok).

8. You’ve forgotten what it means to recycle.

9. You no longer hear the honking of car horns.

10. You know there is always traffic in Istanbul: the question is whether there is traffic or A LOT of traffic.

11. You know you’ll find a portrait of Atatürk everywhere you go.

12. You have learned to accept yogurt as something salty you drink with your food rather than something sweet you eat for dessert.

13. You hardly hear it anymore when the mosques issue the call to prayer. Five times a day. Starting at 05.30.

14. You have drunk çay when it’s 35 degrees Celsius outside.

15. You know the only way to cross the street is kamikaze-style, with the cars passing just a few centimetres away. Traffic lights? What are those?

16. You know the first rule about Atatürk is: you do not say anything bad about Atatürk.

17. And the second rule about Atatürk is: you do not say anything bad about Atatürk.

18. You ask for a student discount or try to bargain for almost everything.

19. Remember when you used to notice how there was always a smartass jumping the queue without anyone complaining? Now you’re that smartass.

20. You go to the Tarlabaşı market every Sunday to buy fruits and vegetables at extremely cheap prices. And you still try to bargain for a better deal.

21. You know where all the happy-hour places are in Taksim.

22. You always drink the biggest beer because “it’s just one lira more.”

23. You’re still looking for the cheapest kebab in the city.

24. You have a nazar boncuğu (“evil eye”) in your house or your room.

25. You do not say “ok”; you say “tamam.”

26. You kiss both cheeks with your close male friends.

27. It doesn’t surprise you anymore to see two macho guys walking together with linked arms.

28. The entrance to your house looks like a shoe store.

29. You have accepted olives and cheese as part of your breakfast.

30. You have accepted that there will always be soup and yogurt with your food.

31. You have a favourite brand of rakı.

32. You have accepted yogurt as a sauce.

33. You are thinking about growing a moustache to look cool.

34. You think it’s normal to “drink a cigarette,” “close the phone” or having it be “raining snow.”

35. You call older neighbours “aunt” and “uncle.”

36. You say “allah allah” to complain or express anger.

37. You don’t get surprised when some people still give prices in millions of liras.

38. You compare the price of an alcoholic drink to the food you could eat for that same amount.

39. You now expect to get a wet-wipe soaked in lemon scent at the end of a restaurant meal.

40. When you need groceries, you call the shop on the corner and have them sent up to you in a basket.

41. You know that kahvaltı means “under or after the coffee” – and that there is never coffee after breakfast.

42. You have eaten an islak (wet) hamburger after partying.

43. You have eaten midye dolma (stuffed mussels) after a night out. And you’ve stopped asking yourself where they come from or how they’re prepared.

44. You know you’ll always find the sugar served in cubes

45. You’ve stopped expecting sauce in your döner kebab and know it is normal to find French fries in it instead.

46. You expect to climb a ton of stairs to reach a bar or nightclub.

47. You only go to the historic part of the city when your friends visit you.

48. You think it’s normal for motorcyclists to ride in the wrong direction, without a helmet.

49. You know every building has a name of a person on it, and usually two numbers: the old one and the new one.

50. You have learned to play tavla (backgammon). Better yet, you’ve spent a whole afternoon drinking çay, smoking nargile (hookah) and playing tavla.

Thanks to S. Brusadin.