Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hosgeldiniz!

In the last week, I've picked up a fair amount of Turkish. A standing joke is when I say 'welcome'.
I asked G how to say welcome in Turkish and it translates into 'Hosgeldiniz' (which literally means welcome to my country/home/city etc NOT the welcome you say after someone thanks you) G didn't know that at the time and gave me this translation. So basically, for close to 5 days, J and i went around town saying 'Hosgeldiniz' WHENEVER someone said 'Tesserkuler' which is Thank you. basically we've welcomed them somewhere when they've thanked us. NO WONDER we got these confused looks.

Anyway as my trip draws to a close I look back and wish i had blogged each day. Instead in my usual last minute fashion I will try to encapsulate as much of my trip as possible. Starting with today - when we did the turkish bath. The 'Hamam' or the Turkish bath is this centuries old tradition in which people are 'bathed' (literally by other people) in a public place (as in there are other people, but it is enclosed, private). We went to an extremely traditional and old bath - the historical cagaloglu . There is a part of me thats a bit traumatized by being almost naked with about 8 other women with an old Turkish woman scrubbing me down. and i mean scrubbing.me.down. and then soaping and scrubbing and massaging. If it dint feel bloody fantastic, I'd be having nightmares. Apparently there is a tradition that before the bride gets married, her mother in law organizes a hamam for her and all the women bathe together and dance? getting naked in front of your mother in law seems a reasonable enough celebration.

I love how Istanbul is a juxtaposition of ancient vs. modern - almost everyday we drive past the Dolmabache palace and go to the Tram station - which for me is absolutely fantastic.
Think i need to document this trip a little more when i am less sleepy. watch this space. 

3 comments:

Scarlett said...

Have you been on both the European and Asian sides of Istanbul?

Aditya said...

There are so many comments I could make, but most of them will lead you to stop talking to me...

:D

Glad you're having fun!

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