I recently started driving here in Mersin having purchased a brand spanking new, beyaz (of course) Nissan Juke. I am finally an independent woman and can get out and about without having to catch 1, 2 or more dolmuş. This has the added bonus of being less likely to be sneezed on, kidnapped or generally treated like a second class citizen while travelling on the public buses here.
Because I am a kind and thoughtful blogger I have put together a few helpful hints for those of you who intend on driving here in Türkiye:
- When driving on the road use your horn – all the time. It seems that we have been wrongly instructed to only use the horn sparingly. Fallacy! Use your horn to show how happy you are, or how sad you are, or even how horny you are (get it. horn/horny). Rarely the horn is used to in agitation. Better to use your horn than your brakes (after all the horn will last longer).
- Pedestrian crossings are not actually for pedestrians. These black and white zebra style markings on the road is in fact a sign for us, the driver, to speed up. If some fool does try and cross my best suggestion would be to aim right for him. This has a two-fold effect. You get where you are going faster; and 2. You help him get a cardio workout. In fact you are doing him a favour and he will no doubt smile and wave to you when he reaches the other side of the road. This has happened to me often. The Turk tells me it is not waving but that is neither here nor there.
- When at a red light you are at liberty to disregard such red light. Instead you should think of your car as a chess piece and it is now your move. Manoeuvre your chess piece to the front of the lights so when the lights turn green (or orange) you can shoot out like Mario Andretti. If you do not play chess then be prepared to start using that horn (as mentioned above) and hit it as soon as the light change to show how happy you are.
- Left or right side of the road? Either. Whatever.
- Feel free to ignore those silly signs on the side of the road. You know the ones 50, 70 or even 120. These signs are not actually the speed limits they are signs that indicate how many pedestrians have successfully made it to the other side of the road (true!). The numbers never change because making it successfully across is a pipe dream.
- Another rule that was drilled into us while we were learner drivers and that should be totally disregarded here is using your mobile phone. In fact I stress to you that you must use your mobile while driving. Multi-tasking is a skill that should be utilised by you. I find that while driving you merely point your car in the direction that you want it to go and continue your chatting on your mobile or texting your cousin. Allah will get you to your destination. Or not.
Bonus hint – Seatbelts are an optional extra. Merely a suggestion by the manufacturer. And if you, like me, have a new car with that pesky alarm warning you of your impending death should you not wear your seat belt merely lock the seatbelt in place before you sit down (as suggested to me by my brother in law).
* Disclaimer: Some days my humor is lost on The Turk and so, on his advice, I disclose that this post should not be construed as instructions on the driving laws here in Türkiye or in any other country. You should always adhere to road rules in the country that you are visiting or live in and here in Türkiye “road rules” means “no rules” LOL!
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