Tag Archives: Istanbul

I call it chaos, they call it home

I could try to use words to capture the nonstop chaos that permeates all aspects of life in Istanbul.

But instead, I’ll share this humorous video that compares everyday occurrences in Europe (or the U.S.) vs. in Turkey, from crossing the street to following smoking laws (or not) to navigating bureaucracy.

What happens when Istanbul gets a few inches of snow

So it’s snowing in Istanbul. With nearly 30 brutal Minnesota winters under my belt, you’d think I’d seen it all when it comes to arctic weather conditions, but the past few days have proved that wrong.

Here’s what happens when a few inches (err, several centimeters) of the wintery white stuff blankets a city where palm trees are plentiful and snowfalls are rare.

The Life of the Linguistically Deficient: Getting a Haircut in Turkey

This display finished, I looked at the kuaför in the mirror. He looked back at me with his eyes and his mustache as if to say, “don’t tell me my business, son.” After a brief nod, he began the process. As with most haircuts, the first order of business was lighting a cigarette.

The ever-present call to prayer

One of the most striking things about Istanbul is hearing the Islamic call to prayer sung five times a day, every day. Called the adhan, it’s audible from just about every pocket of the city, thanks to loudspeakers atop each of Istanbul’s thousands of mosques.

How To Get Cell Phone Service In Turkey

It is slightly more complicated in Turkey. In Turkey, you have to register your cell phone with the government or else the networks will recognize that you are using an unregistered SIM and kick you off.

Good news! It’s very easy to get your cell phone registered and get cell phone service in Turkey, provided you follow these easy steps:

1. Don’t.

Impressions of the Çukurcuma Neighborhood

When we chose our neighborhood, there were several overarching concerns. First, we wanted to be close enough to the historical sites to make seeing them a near-daily occurrence. However, we didn’t want to be in the overly-expensive tourist zone, and we wanted a largely local experience in a place where we can go quite some […]

Just Istanbul Things

Despite living in Turkey, I know very little Turkish. (If you’d like to know more about our language situation, check out “Linguistic Overload”) My knowledge of the Turkish words for palace, church, museum, and the like really don’t tend to help when at a supermarket faced with mystery meats. But as if I needed another […]

The Turkey Bucket Lists

Here is what John would like to do in Turkey. For the rest of the bucket lists and a fuller explanation, check out our Bucket Lists Page. In Istanbul Walk the entire length of the Theodosian Land Walls; find the sites of the siege of 1453; find the inscriptions; find a way into the peribolos; […]