Current mood: English
I’ve been writing in Turkish but I’m in the mood to speak “Alabamian” today… I didn’t want y’all to feel left out. 🙂
I’ve been writing in Turkish mainly because 1) I think I am more fun in Turkish and 2) I have a lot of strange things to tell Turkish people about this country. You gotta admit, America is an interesting place to talk about. When I started this, I didn’t know if people would actually read this stuff but within the first day I announced my web site, I got 200 hits. I guess, that’s a good sign.
What people find strange about America is really not what you think. Just recently, I was telling Turkish people about how easy life is for Turkish youth. I was telling them that a lot of kids have to get loans from a bank to be able to go to college around here. Compared to what they pay in Turkey -which is close to nothing in comparison-, it’s unbelievable for them to know that people would have to get a loan for $20,000-$30,000 in their 17s, just to be able to go to college. To give you an idea; the closest thing to a student loan that I paid total for 4 years of my education was not even $500 bucks. It was probably not even $400. Today, with inflation and all that it may be a little more in Turkey. But, still…
Students don’t really worry about how much it is anyway, because most of them don’t even pay for it. Their parents do. I was also telling them how -especially, here in Ohio- almost all of my students have a part time job (if not two)… which is something quite foreign to most college kids in Turkey. When I was in college, out of 200 people of my class, maybe 2 of them had a part time job. And that’s just a guess, because nobody I knew had one. I actually think it’s a good thing for kids to start working, earning their own money and learning responsibility at an early age, but it is so unfair that they have to go through this much trouble just to be able to get an education. Besides, I get really frustrated when students come to me with excuses such as “I had to take over a shift at work, can you please let me take the make-up?”. My syllabus has gotten almost 15 pages just so I can cover all kinds of creative excuses students come up with, which I will not accept as valid excuses… And, to be honest, I actually understand them. I know they are working so hard, mainly because school is costing them an arm and a leg.
Of course that’s not all… Back home in Turkey, there is a slang-like term, which can be translated into English literally as “father money”… That’s what you eat off of until you finish college, get a job and start making your own money. That term does not exist in the English vocabulary.
And… Turkish kids still complain. In fact, Turkish people complain about everything. Just recently, the government imposed restrictions on alcohol purchase. They raised the age limit to 18 from… well, zero… Before that, a 5 year old could go buy alcohol and nobody would ask for an ID. Now that we have a new restriction, naturally, we complain.
Hint for American kiddos, by the way. If you wanna start alcoholism at an early age, Turkey is where you wanna be… You don’t have to wait till you’re 21 to buy a beer there. (Not that I am encouraging anyone…)
Of course, this is not all I tell Turkish people about. Having spent almost 9 years of my life down in the deep South, from Hailabama to Mississippi, I have even more exciting stuff to talk about than a regular American. Recently, when I said “I love Alabama” in response to an American friends’ facebook status which was: “Sweet potato pie and I shut my mouth”; she said I was such a red neck. Apparently, out of all her Ohioan friends, I was the one who got the reference. Well, what can I say, I do like country music. Probably because when I first came to America, I landed in Alabama and the only watchable channel on my cheap basic cable was CMT. I listened to Travis Tritt and Faith Hill day in and day out.
Anyway, just wanted to let you guys know what was going on around here. I will keep my English posts under the “English” category, so check me out sometimes.