Culture is Everywhere

Culture is everywhere. I am discovering that this is one of the most interesting things about living as an expat. The language barrier around us is an obvious sign of being thrust into a new culture. I am also noticing smaller and smaller things that demonstrate the culture here. As a newly-arrived expat, I often can’t make heads or tails of what I am seeing. İnşaala one day I will be able to. I learn new things about our new host country every day. It is a great adventure!

I bought these cherries the other day and I chuckled when I noticed the
“nazar” sticker. It is the “evil eye” meant to ward off bad things. I see
this everywhere, hanging on door frames and in windows, on necklaces
and as pins on the lapels of clothing, and I see it as stickers or
decorations for sale everywhere. Now, I’ve seen it on my fruit. I like
noticing or discovering things like this. Here, everywhere you turn you see the Turkish flag, a portrait of or quote from Ataturk, a Nazar, or something like this. There is a distinct sense of culture and identity here to be sure.

Istanbul already has proven to be a city unlike any other city that I have experienced. It is densely packed and filled with a diversity of people that I have never encountered before. It is historically meaningful to a great degree. I am truly enjoying some of the unique aspects of living here. Just for fun, I wanted to show you one part of my “office” from today as I wrote this.

I was traveling from the Asian side of Istanbul to the European side of Istanbul today. I took the Metro (subway) and then this Vapur (ferry) across the Bosphorus. The ferry ride is about 30 minutes and only cost me 6 TL one-way. A server walks around with tea, juice, and water after the ferry takes off. My tea cost me 4 TL. Where else does a normal method of public transit give an ambiance like this?

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