Thursday 29 October 2009

Things I'd never done before moving to Turkey #2

Getting fairly excited about a dinner of tripe and liver. Had some last night, in fact.

What I had was a dish called 'kokorec'. You will often see it being sold on the streets (I don't think I've ever seen it in a restaurant).

It's basically intestines wrapped around a skewer and grilled over charcoal. Nice.

It's then chopped and put in a sandwich.

Now, what does that remind me of?

I think I'm going to buy me a cart and earn some cash down Covent Garden.
Tourists take note: You're going to get pissed and end up eating it so this is just a heads up to you. It is tripe.

You see, when Brits get pissed in Britain, they eat doner kebabs. When Turks get pissed in Turkey, they eat tripe. Either grilled in the form of kokorec or as the garlic-based soup, iskembe corbasi. Personally, nothing's going to tip the balance of an alcoholic queasy feeling quicker than the thought of tripe. Turks are hard as fucking nails. Even the girls.

My girlfriend, after a few shandies, likes nothing more than a plate of rice topped with a sheep's face. Rock hard.

Wednesday 21 October 2009

How does a muslim nation get swine flu anyway?

I first got the hint that something was wrong when the kids started asking "teacher, do you got pig grip?". Ah yes, that superstar illness is now on its Turkish tour.

I'm really saddened to see this happening. I had got used to it in the UK. From a country that produces little news, the media can make a mountain out of trivia for a good few months. If it isn't paedophiles it's bird flu. People bored of bird flu? How about immigrants? If all else fails, let's do another name and shame campaign. It's all complete shit.

If no one had ever told me about 'bird flu' or 'foot and mouth', I would never have known. I'm not being egocentric here. What I mean is, there are a thousand more likely ways for me (and anyone I know) to die. If a bird had flown into my mouth and I became diseased, I would probably have recovered fairly quickly without even having to pin a name on my discomfort. Had I licked the ankle of a riddled cow, neither me nor the cow would have bothered writing home about it.

The fact I was smoking over a pack a day should have been headline news, not this.

And we're back again with swine flu. Of course, it's terrifying. We know that to date over 4,000 have died globally from the disease. So what can we do about it?

Well, let me ask you another question. What are you doing about the normal flu? That kills somewhere between 250,000 and 500,000 people globally every year. So whatever you're doing to protect yourself from the flu, do about 1% of that for swine flu.

Yeah, yeah. I know I'm not the first person to go on a rant about the media selling fear. I just wanted to let off some steam. My hero, Maddox, does a far better job anyway.

It is a disgrace. The kids are being sent home with letters. Emergency meetings are being held. Everything is being bleached. It's completely bizarre.

Come on guys, this is Turkey. I'm in infinite more danger negotiating my way to the shop for a loaf of bread.

Friday 2 October 2009


Is it just me, or does this toothpaste campaign make anyone else feel somewhat uneasy?