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Turkish Daylights: Simplicity


We may also call it wit. Or creativity or a mix of all three. What I want to introduce you to in this post is the ideas Turkish people come up with in order to make their lives easier.

© aNadventures

Let’s take this amca sitting by the sidewalk on a cold Izmir morning. He has set up a pair of scales in front of him with a sign saying 50 kuruş (~50 cents). If anyone happens to be curious about their weight when passing him, they can just step on the scales and pay him a few coins. This friend may not get rich but at least he has come up with an honest way of earning his daily bread, in a simple but witty way.

Another example of Turkish simplicity/wit/creativity is letting down a basket attached to a string from a window and shouting out to the shop owner next doors to fill it with the required groceries. The money is usually placed in the basked as well.

The other day, as I arrived at my work place, I was surprised as the elevator door opened for me to find a single green ceramic cup filled with tea standing in the middle of the otherwise empty elevator. Then I saw the security guy lift it up – smiling and explaining the tea lady from upstairs had just sent him his morning tea. I thought it was a genius idea!

What you can also observe quite often in crowded busses is people passing on their Kent Kart (a rechargeable public transportation card) from one person to the next until it reaches the driver where it is placed on a special electronic machine that withdraws the value of the ride. Then it is passed on to its owner again. Sometimes, when people don’t have enough credit on their cards, other fellow travelers will jump in with their cards and later collect the money from the other person (or sometimes not).

These are all everyday life details that may seem unimportant or self-evident for locals. For me, as a foreigner, they are just fascinating and inspiring. It’s the simple little witty things that count, don’t you agree?

What are the simplicity/wit/creativity details you have come across in countries you have visited or in your home countries? 


From → Turkey

  1. I really like the way you see and observe things. It’s very interesting that these “little things” make life different.

    In southern and sunny countries such as Spain, Italy and Tunisia (my experience so far) I am greeted in a very warm and welcoming way. People I don’t know call me sister, sweetheart, beautiful .. – it’s just a word but it makes my day. Indeed, the little things matter.

    Thank you for this lovely perspective on Turkey’s cultural richness!
    Keep up your wonderful work.

  2. Thank you for your encouraging comment, my dear! 😉

    You’re right, such warm words do indeed make a difference. Here people call me my life, my soul, my lamb … all the time as well. Even if we know strangers don’t always mean those words in a literal way, it’s nice to hear them – somehow flattering and cheerful.

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