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Tour du monde en autostop - Jeremy Marie

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 Travel Diary : Turkey from Inside

Turkey has, as I said in the preceding article, different customs and habits as well as a strong culture. I could live with several Turkish during one month and I will try to explain to you the things which I remember well during this stays.

DRINK AND FOOD

As I succeeded to take few kilos in Turkey, we will start with the local gastronomy.

The Cay

Any doubt the national drink. It is a cheap tea which we doesn t drink once when we start but at least three times generaly and according to my observations (that can go from 2 to 10 time). Knowing that glass (served in a glass looking like a tulip) cost less than 20 cents of euros, it was a good way of being refreshed. It is also a good way of meeting people that to share a Cay. On each way of hitch-hiking in Turkey (I made approximately 2000 kilometres by hitch-hiking in the country), I was each time invited has to drink Cay.

Cay


The Simit

This small round piece of bread  and hollow in its center is sold almost everywhere in Turkey and in almost every streets you can find salesmen who can provide some to you. This kind of bread can be taken anytime or can be taken for the meal to replace the bread. The price is very variable remainder and always below 1 lira (approximately 75 cents of euros). In connection with that, I was amused to see that in Ankara, the number of Simit get multiplied along the day. Thus for 1 lira the morning, you have in general 2 Simit whereas the evening, you have sometimes until  7 Simit for the same price! (Indeed, Simit get dry quickly)


Queuing in front of the Simit salesman in Antalya

And here is an original Simit salesman in Taksim street in Istanbul ( I just love this picture)




How to take the meal

Basically, the meals are taken like in France but it happened to me to take them in little more traditional way. Indeed, it is possible that your host put a large towel on the ground and put above it a large plate with various dishes. Each one sit down around the plate and puts a part of the large towel on its knees. Then, feel free to take whatever you want on the plate by sharing the common dish. I personally liked this way of sharing the meal because the concept of sharing appears really important to me. After it is of course necessary to wash your hands before to eat but here the people are mainly doing it.

The breakfast

MUSIC

Turkey has a quite typical musical culture and well followed by the population. Indeed, in the cars and trucks of the people who has taken me by hitch-hiking, the majority of them were listening to the music of their country. I indeed was surprised  to not hear all the time the young people listening the tubes coming from the music of Occident (like Beyonce Knowles or Red Hot Chile Peppers). I must say that was pleasant to be able a little bit to extend my musical culture by diversity. Likewise, it is not rare to see people playing some of the local musical instruments. The sound is completely different and could be describe as "oriental". .

My host playing Balgama in Konya



PHILOSOPHY

Who are those people who influence the life of the Turkish people? A question which deserves its importance but which is really difficult to  answer.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

Commonly called Ataturk, he is the founder of the Republic of Turkey in 1924 and is at the origin of several reforms to direct Turkey towards a revival. The Turkish people has a real worship of personnality for him, Ataturk is not only present in the memories but also in almost each public place.

In Statue...

In name of Sports Hall...


...and even on the back of some cars!

Personally, it is difficult for me to be convinced by a state of worship for somebody who was a chief of war, being myself against any state of war. I prefere indeed this form of humanism which the Sufism can dedicate below.

Mevlana

Mevlana Jalad Ud Din Rumi is one of the large inspirers of the Sufism, Islamic religious movement and especially humanistic movement. Indeed one of the goals which I like much in this movement is this belief in the man. A positive movement thus and which gave birth in this famous dance carried out by the dancing dervishes. Perhaps have you already seen these dancers with long dresses and typical hats.

Dancing dervishes in Konya



THE GAME

Turkish people like o play, we can see much play of chance such lottery in the street. One of the pastimes in Turkey is also to play Okey but this one is not on ice!

The Okey

The okey is played with kinds of dominos with figures and the goal is to make pairs or continuations. When all the dominos are used, you win(except if somebody did it before you!). This play is easy to learn and ludic enough. We plays Okey while drinking Cay most of the time.


Myself in my first game of Okey (I didnt lose byt he way!)



Turkey has a vast culture, you understood it. It is difficult to represent a human experiment with words but you have to know that i was very well welcome in Turkey. The hitch-hiking has never appeared to me as easy as here. I didnt wait more than 10 minutes and I could have fun to try stylistic devices(like hitch hiking in the middle of the highway... i dont advise it in France...anyway cars wouldnt stop).

About myself, everything is still goingvery well, I am in the Syrian border in Antakya and get prepared to start my great descent towards the South and Africa.

I leave you with a photograph of my first tele show.

 

See you soon

Jérémy



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