Discussing the differences between Poland and Turkey
Çay comes first
Even though I knew about Turks’ love for tea before coming here, the sheer scale of it surprised me. Everyone in Turkey either has just drunk tea, is currently drinking it or is about to do it. It’s truly an addiction! And even though Türk kahvesi is also a regional delight, I still get weird looks when I share that I prefer coffee over tea.
Red light, green light
In Europe the rule is simple: the pedestrian always has the priority and all the cars on the road should stop when they see him approaching a pedestrian crossing. However, in Turkey it doesn’t work that way. I’ve lost count of how many times I automatically entered a crossing and almost got run over by a car. It’s good news that I have health insurance 🙂 Surprisingly, the drivers aren’t the only ones who disregard road safety rules. Pedestrians can also act totally irresponsible, for example they jump in front of speeding cars to cross the street faster. That behavior is something that I’m still trying to wrap my head around!
Cats and dogs everywhere!
Hands down my favorite thing when it comes to living in Turkey. As a die-hard animal lover, I can say there is nothing better than seeing and petting a cute dog after long, hard day of work. If only I could take them home with me… What’s also great is the fact that the locals don’t seem to be bothered by them, even when they are having a nap in the middle of the street, effectively blocking the pathway! Instead, Izmirians take care of all stray animals- they bring them food, water and warm blankets when the weather is cold. Witnessing it is a truly endearing sight!
Throw away your schedule!
In Poland we tend to plan everything a couple of months in advance. Turkey couldn’t be any more different- here people don’t waste time thinking about what they will do tomorrow and opt to concentrate on what’s going on right now. I’m not going to lie, it was a tough adjustment to make, but it helped me to learn how to slow down and enjoy the moment instead of worrying about the future.
The BFF approach
One of the most striking differences between the Poles and the Turks is the fact that Turkish people are very… talkative. Small talk is an essential part of every interaction here and it’s very rude not to engage in it. The first thing you get asked is Nasılsın? It’s not only out of politeness, they are genuinely interested in your well-being. If by any chance you are having any problems, you can count on pretty much everyone to offer you their help, especially if you happen to be a foreigner. Generally, Turkish people adore foreigners- they’re always very excited to meet them and will drop everything to spend some time with them and show them around. Also, they will pretty much treat you like you’re their best friend only after 5 minutes of knowing you.