Tuesday, December 16, 2008

culture

so i found someone who studies turkology. i have a new austrian friend now. she is quite calm, friendly, she looks a bit shy but she is so much fun to hang out with. during our first meeting we spoke in german mostly. she didn't want to speak turkish but she listened as i spoke very slowly and clearly and understood most of the things i said. we sat in a cafe for hours and talked about cultural differences, the turks in austria, istanbul, her time in turkey and a lot of other stuff.

during our second meeting i encouraged her a bit more to speak turkish and told her it's ok to make mistakes, like a teacher. then i reminded her of the many mistakes i make while speaking german. i can understand her concerns, i had the same during my first days here. i used to try to speak as correct as possible, i was always thinking during sentences and panicing thinking i bore people cause i'm speaking so slowly. now i just speak and make mistakes. so after the pep talk, she started speaking turkish and she is pretty good at it, although she doesn't think so. she was so cute while speaking turkish that i wanted to squeeze her cheeks, but of course i didn't (i think it's only acceptable in my culture to squeeze the cheeks of someone who is older than 5).

it was a very interesting and cool experience for me cause i don't know any other people who are learning turkish. i have an austrian friend who lives in turkey but her turkish is great, i don't pretty much teach her anything and she doesn't need to practice with me since there are a lot of turkish speakers around her. so i really enjoyed teaching my new friend new words and answering her questions about why she can't use that word there and stuff. i also really enjoyed talking about turkey with a "foreigner", who actually knows a lot about it for a change. i'm not saying everybody's supposed to know a lot about turkey, but it gets pretty boring when others ask weird things about my country ("you can't study there right, that's why you came here to study... right? hey wait!") or judge something in the past without actually knowing something about it. she knows about the culture, the music, the history, politics, the comedians even. these were very interesting to discuss with an austrian. we are going to go to a turkish comics exhibition sometime this week.

i really like observing cultural differences. i also wonder why there are so many of them. why are the people more touchy kissy in the east? why are they more distant in the west? i found it very funny whenever steph (english friend) had a culture shock with me. like when she made cute faces, i couldn't help but squeeze her cheeks and then she would remind me that she's not 4. once she was lying on the bed as i was about to make some tea. i asked if she wanted some too, while rubbing her tummy and she answered by letting me know that she's not a dog :)

the biggest cultural shock i had here was probably when my ex asked me to pay for his coffee reminding me that he lent me 2 euros earlier. he said something like "could you pay for my coffee so that we can be even?" now i'm not expecting to fight over the bill with the boyfriend, trying to pay for my drink, like i would have to do in turkey, but it was quite shocking to find out that he was keeping tracks on whatever small coins he gave me for something and expecting me to pay back so that "we can be even". being even is pretty important in austria. so yeah even though i found it shocking, i did as he said.

i wonder if i can be with an austrian guy again, in spite of all the cultural differences.

2 comments:

Cornflake Girl said...

ya şimdi bizim de geçmişten kalan ödemediğimiz borçlarımız falan varsa bi hesap dökümü çıkarttıralım, "hak geçmesin" :)

i am not your freud said...

bi kere bize geldiğinde çay içmiştin ama hiç gelip de bir adet çay poşeti getirip yerine koyduğunu hatırlamıyorum?