America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

25 May 2009

Priceless

My 90 day Visa stamp is 20$.. The porter at the airport gets 20 TL for helping me with my bags and getting me a big taxi.. (I found my Thule bike case in the middle of the floor in baggage claim) The cab ride to the bus station is 40 TL.. Porters descend on my cab and carry my bags and bike to my bus. There's 2 of them and I give them a 10 TL bill to share. The younger one wants me to give his buddy another 10.. I show him only 50s in my pocket and he's reaching for it saying he can break it. I'm astonished by the lack of manners. If this guy is making 10$ every 5-10 minutes just to roll a tourist's luggage about 100 feet, he's doing a LOT better than you or me.. Fuck that- the bus ride cost 20 and I'll lbe damned if using a porter doubles the cost.. This country is crazy. I'm now considering a career change.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

9 comments:

Nomad said...

Years ago, my friend and I were coming back from the states and, because Turkish airlines had royally screwed up our flight arrangements- they told us we could either pay more or discuss with the headquarters which opened ONE HOUR after our flight was to take off. Instead we took a bus to Izmir and saved a small fortune. But getting from the airline to the bus station required some really low-down manipulation of taxi driver emotions and the creeps at the bus station wanted handfuls of ytl for moving our bags from one end of the bus station to the other. We ended up getting in a shouting match with them and basically told them to screw themselves if they were happy with what we had chosen to give them. My friend was in tears until I pointed out how much we had saved by taking a bus.

Nomad said...

Another time, my friend ( different friend) and I were waiting at the Izmir bus station and a lemoncu (?) kindly offered us two glasses of juice. I told the gentleman that I did not want to partake, and that I had no money. However, he literally forced the drinks in our hands while we kept declining. I put the glass to the side but my friend took a few sips. About 5 minutes later, the man returns and tosses our drinks into the flowers and demands some incredible fee. With a remarkable speed, that happens regularly in this country, we were surrounded by children and soldiers and rubbernecks of all types. We were both so ashamed that we nearly paid him off just to be able to overcome our blushing. At that moment, a young woman stepped up and asked us in English if we needed any help. We told her of our plight and she transformed in a lioness before our eyes. The lemoncu took to his heels and people scattered in all directions.
We even followed up by contacting a "tourist police" and he actually.. yes actually.. hunted down the lemoncu and demanded his permission and wanted to know the name of his patron. It was quite satisfying to find the very same rubberneckers gathered around him.

Gulay said...

Murat, you are an American and therefore rich....even if you speak the language, I feel the same every time I go to Turkey.....tip for this, tip for that although once you are away from the airport areas things should calm down.....the Husband being a Brit simply ignores the hands reaching out for extras and acts stupid when people get upset, his theory is that no tip until the service is performed satisfactorily and then no tip, its your f****** job.

Nomad said...

At the risk of being offensive to my host country, there is definitely a "something for nothing" attitude in this country. It permeates every aspect of the culture in the same way, materialism undermines every good quality of American culture, perhaps.

It is, of course, not unique to Turkey of course but it can be exasperating sometimes. I tried to write a post about it one time but I was afraid I would be pelted with eggs if I told what I really thought. This whole thing about giving washing machines to villagers in exchange for their votes, despite many of them didn't have running water.

I rarely tip anymore unless the service is far above the average. Meaning, a smile? I have noticed an arc of performance in service here. At your first visit, you are ignored by the waiters, as they watch TV or talk football amongst themselves, the next couple of times, you are treated like royalty, and by the time you become a regular, they have taken it for granted and start ignoring you again. Check it out for yourself.

Gulay said...

nomad, you are correct all it takes is a trip to one of the many government offices to observe the tips paid for stamping pieces of paper deemed necessary, and woe betide you if no tip you paper drops to the bottom of the stack....

Internation Musing said...

These days I've a dog next to me...in shopping malls they used to check my car, now not anymore, police controls, as soon as they see the dog...go ahead sir..)
But on the airport can be anoying, espacially in Italy. I was their ropped 3 weeks ago...their is no service. And what do you think about Greece...no service and nobody to help you.
But like the Husband, I act stupid and look very angry sometimes...
Murat, if you are in Istanbul this week, let me know. Would nice to meet you since 2 years ago I could not make it.
kindest
hans

Nomad said...

Great idea, international musing- I wonder if a stuffed animal will have the same benefits??

Internation Musing said...

@ Noman, a pig head, stuffed and well would certainly help.)!
Kindest
hans

Nomad said...

Impossible, IM, since my buzz cut. They might just think, due to the resemblance, it was an inexpressive and particularly obedient baby.