Take your time or the devil will interfere
One of the many things I learnt when living in Turkey was taking my time. In Germany, we are used to things going according to plan. And when they don’t, we freak out. It’s a very performance-based society, I would say. Our lives tend to be packed with appointments, deadlines and commitments. But I guess that’s an issue in most cultures nowadays as with modern technologies the pace of life seems to have increased.
Even though people in Turkey work very hard as well, they go about their daily business differently. There’s always time for coffee, tavla and a chat. That’s one of the many things I loved about my life there. Just sitting and being present in the moment is socially accepted. You don’t always have to actually be DOING something. And things don’t necessarily have to happen fast, either.
I remember returning from the pazar with my flat mate one day after our weekly grocery shopping. Our hands were full of bags and we deposited them on the kitchen floor. My flat mate then went straight to the sofa, made herself comfortable, stretched her legs towards the coffee table and grabbed a cookie (still lying around there from a previous tea session). I, on the other hand, hadn’t even taken my coat off and was already looking into arranging the groceries in the fridge. My flat mate and I exchanged glances and we both started laughing: me at her cozy position and her at my overeagerness. Ana, rahat ol!, she said. Relax!
There’s a Turkish saying that goes like this: Acele işe şeytan karışır. Literally, this means that the devil will interfere into rushed matters. So sometimes it’s more advisable to take your time instead of rushing.
Do YOU agree with this saying? Have you experienced a situation where you were better off taking your time rather than trying to get things done quickly? Or has the opposite ever occurred to you?
From → Tip of my Tongue