I’ve been looking around my surroundings a little more closely these past few days. A Turkish friend who worked briefly in Singapore and loves it there reluctantly admitted that he did get bored there towards the end of his one year posting. There was no element of surprise anymore, he said, and nowhere where you could walk and stumble onto something old, unsanitised or unusual. Everything was in its place and accounted for by the town planners.
It was… interesting talking to a few local Turks and hearing their loathing of their country.
Right of the bat, they all started off by saying, ”I’m Turkish, unfortunately…” Then, they proceeded to explain what they were doing at an expat social gathering (”I’m trying to improve my English” or ”I hate socializing with Turkish people and only want to meet foreigners,”).
The one thing everyone who visits Istanbul always mentions is the friendliness of its people. People go out of their way to help you and are always willing to lend a hand. But one thing I’ve found different after moving here is that the average Istanbulite is just like everyone else. Helpful, but not exceedingly so.