Turkey: East or West?

Any tourist literature on Turkey will say it has one foot in the West and one in the East. We spent only a week in Turkey, so I’m no expert, but I’d say it has two feet in the West and a pinky finger in the East. Here’s why:

It’s pricey. European pricey. Our hostel in Istanbul costs nearly twice our entire SE Asia daily budget.

There are crosswalks for people to cross the street where traffic actually obeys. This is superior to the chicken frogged dodge technique which must be mastered elsewhere in the east.
They smoke cigarettes more than nargilla (sheesha).

Public transportation is excellent. The buses have attendants who give out moist towelettes and beverages. Some of the buses even have free wifi on board!

You can flush toilet paper. The plumbing systems in most so-called Eastern countries aren’t set up to handle paper so there are usually waste bins in toilets for your used t.p.

You can find and drink Effe beer everywhere. It’s not just drunk by tourists.

They’re crazy about basketball. When we were in Turkey, it was the FIBA World Cup and Turkey was in the finals against the US. (They lost…badly)

They call it Ramazan instead of Ramadan.

The call to prayer does not wake you up/keep you up. They practice a much more relaxed Islam.

You see couples canoodling in public.

Cats and dogs are pets and not strays.

There are no goats/sheep/donkeys/camels on city streets or in the markets.

Souqs are called Bazaars. There’s barely any hassle and barely any bartering.

McDonald’s is cheap eats again. In Egypt, a meal at a McDonalds cost you more than a three-course meal at a nice local restaurant.

There are trees in Turkey. There are even forests!

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