Daughter has gone back to school this week. She is in Year 8 and, as she will have her TEOG this year (the TEOG exam which will decide which high school they can attend), there are extra lessons to help them prepare. She is, of course, spitting a rather large dummy in every direction because it’s a daily onslaught of 4 lessons of science and 4 lessons of math. Her two worst subjects (except for din (religion) but we have had her removed from that class).
So with Daughter back at school it means I am doing the daily drop off and pick up again and I’ve got to tell you these fecking Turkish driver’s are doing my fecking head in. I have decided that Turkish driver’s are so full of their own self-importance that they believe they are the only fecking drivers on the road. Get out of their fecking way. They are like a fecking bulldozer and they are coming through! Of course they know how to drive and I know shit! You know shit too but don’t take it personally.
Look, my friend — there are two kinds of drivers in Turkey. First there’s the stupid ones — and then there’s the crazy ones
I am over driving defensively. I am over giving way, using my indicators, stopping at red lights and keeping to the speed limit. I have my kimlik damn it!! I’m Turkish I say and so I will start to drive like a lunatic … so I will fit right in with the rest of them!
And like probably 90% of the driver’s on a Turkish road I don’t actually have a Turkish driver’s licence. I have my Australian driver’s licence but from 1 January 2016 an Australian must obtain a Turkish driver’s licence as Australia is one of the few countries that have not signed the international treaty (we are governed by our States). If you’re an Aussie and have not got a Turkish driver’s licence your only option (right now) is to leave the country every six months to get a new stamp in your passport. I’m all over that idea and, despite the fact that I only just got back from Down Under, I’m already online checking out my options for a weekend in Europe in January. I’m thinking snow covered mountains, cozy fires, mulled wine, Brad Pitt. Oh right. Okay.
Did you know that in Australia you need 100 hours of practice driving and lessons. Getting your driver’s licence in Australia takes years. FECKING YEARS! Here I dunno but what I do know that if a Turkish driver sees a red light it inspires insanity in them. It’s a red flag and bull situation and no one ever really wins that do they?
And while I’m on my high horse – feck my life – the fecking pedestrians!! I swear they step out right in front of you, obviously with big old blinders on their eyes and waddle through six lanes of traffic without a fecking care in the world while you slam on your brakes, smelling the burning rubber of your tyres as you slide sideways, your airbag exploding in your face and you nearly having a freaking heart attack while they throw you the evil eye for honking at them! And no teşekkür ederim or sağol. No fecking way! Just the evil side-eye.
And seeing as I have already climbed into that big saddle one more thing! There is a small home decoration shop at the end of our street and there is a woman that ‘works’ there. I use the term loosely because, let’s be honest, despite the fact that everybody in the village may need a home decorator there are few in the village who could actually afford one. Anyway Little Miss Home Decorator has a lot of freaking attitude. She spends her day sitting on a chair on the small terrace chatting with all the neighbours (including Vito’s wife whom I still haven’t spoken to since this incident back in May) but if the sun gets a little too intense she has taken to putting her chair on the road under the shade of the building and so, when I (or anyone else for that matter) turn right onto our street there she is sitting in the middle of the road enjoying her çay without a fecking care in the world while you slide sideways on the gravel to miss her sorry ass. Get out of the way biatch! And God forbid if you ask her to move she stares at you with that blank death stare that all these crazies around here have although no doubt she gives me that look because Vito’s wife would have told her all about ‘the incident’ and what a bloody awful yabancı I am and do you know what? I’m really okay about that. I really am.
Meanwhile The Turk thinks that if you survive driving on a Turkish road any day then it is a good day. If you survived any near miss while dodging pedestrians, bike riders, cars, trucks, horses, dogs, cats, goats, chickens or anything else then buy yourself a lottery ticket ‘cause you are having a fecking great day!
Loving this blog? Please help me build my audience and share with like minded people who, like you, have put aside your years of road knowledge to drive in this crazy country and love Turkey. You can also subscribe or like me on Facebook for all updates.