Friday 3 June 2011

Holiday Snaps: Another beam through the prism of Turkey

The monies of Europe

There is much more to notice and observe, the peculiarities of Turkey and its proximity to Europe catering for tourists that visit from far and wide.

The cash machines are definitely more advanced or better programmed with mainland Europeans, as most shops and restaurants trade in Turkish Lira, British Pounds or Euros, machines from well-known banks as HSBC and ING are ubiquitous as well as the home grown Garanti Bank.

I have seen certain ATMs offer up to 8 languages on their menus and dispensing Lira, Pounds or Euros with a notification of the prevailing exchange rate that you can choose to complete the transaction or abort it.

Certain other banks are not that versatile with the annoying prospect of having inserted your card, keying in your PIN and then after any almost interminable wait, nothing happens and you are offered your card back without a decent explanation as to why the transaction was not completed.

Play time, pastime

For pastime they can be found playing backgammon and there will most likely be a water pipe to hand too.

Lots of bars have game boards and water pipes serviced and ready for customers who while away time on games quaffing drinks like water.

Crossing the road where there are traffic lights and a zebra-crossing presents an unfamiliar situation where the green man is a blinking flash which many of us from mainland Europe may take to mean we are being warned to get off the road because the lights would soon change – I was at first confused.

Men being seriously male

There are times I felt a bit out of place, Marmaris is a lot family-oriented or at least it is hardly a haven for singles. The number of times I was asked about my partner, my company, my friend was innumerable.

You are expected, required, assumed to be a family man of sorts that anything to the contrary is suspect and regarded unusual.

The men are fiercely heterosexual, prone to boast and quite available to chaperone ladies from companionship roles to providing sexual satisfaction – none of the young men I met were shy, their libidos had no reserve in terms of expression as stories of conquests and experiences with comparisons coloured the air.

Suffice it to say, they had many things on their minds but in importance, that seemed to matter a lot.

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