Saturday 8 January 2011

Fezaurus #10

Eceli gelen köpek cami duvarına işermiş - The dying dog pisses on the wall of the mosque.

This takes me back to my New Year's Eve. We went to a lovely little village near Çeşme called Alaçatı. Every year, the town puts on a street party to welcome in the new year. This was my first visit and I'll give it a miss next year. It was absolutely heaving.

Unfortunately, in Turkey, when there's a congregation of people at an event that asks no entrance fee, it attracts an inordinate number of pikeys. Pikeys + crowd + alcohol = trouble.

As the masses counted down the final seconds of 2010, the pikeys had another plan:

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-FIGHT!!! PUSH!!! BUNDLE!!!!!!!!!

As a seething mass roared towards me, I suddenly found immense courage. Confident in my obese frame, I dug my heels into the ground and waited. Thank god, I managed to hang in there long enough for the crowds to squeeze past. It was somewhere between a bull run, cheese rolling and the opening of Primark on Oxford Street ...but everyone's pissed.

So what's the connection with the above expression? Well later we found some space to breathe near the mosque. We exchanged anecdotes of how lucky we were to survive and watched in horror as a drunk youth staggered over to one of the pillars of the mosque, opening his fly as he went.

Before the first drip had hit the floor, there was a shout from a local. "Heyyyyyyyy!!!! What the fuck are you doing? A mosque isn't a place to piss!!". As all my courage had been used up, we edged away from the scene and, from a safe distance, watched the furious local pointing aggressively backwards and forwards between the minaret and the drunk's penis.

So, when you've got nothing to lose, piss up a mosque. If a severe kick in seems like a walk in the park, piss up a mosque.

Friday 7 January 2011

Turkish Sports - Football

Globally massive of course, Football is probably the most popular sport in Turkey. They're not half bad at it either. Reaching the semi-finals of the 2008 UEFA Cup, Turkey treated us to some spectacularly nail-biting matches. But, for some reason, they've not qualified for the World Cup since 2002, when they kicked ass all the way to 3rd place.

National football is really a three horse race. Though football supporters may have a local team, they will, almost always, also support one of three Istanbul teams:

1. Beşiktaş (BJK) - The cool colours of black and white and the eagle mascot. Not much to say about them really. They're good and they're reasonably quietly confident about it.

2. Galatasaray (GS) - My team by default (which is weird because I never watch football). A pretty rowdy bunch with a habit of throwing their seats onto the pitch when things are looking down.

Britons may remember Galatasaray after a 2000 UEFA Cup match in Istanbul when two Leeds fans were stabbed to death. The reason for the violence has been debated. Though official reports claim the British fans had insulted a van driver, my barber reckons they wiped their arses on some Turkish money.

Tip to visiting supporters: Turks frown on many of the fun things we take for granted. The great British passtime of mooning is seen as a rather serious insult. Should you wish to bare your backside, be prepared for rather severe shoeing. With that in mind, it'd also be best to rethink any plans to streak. Wiping your arse on any icons of Turkish national identity will envoke your travel insurance's post mortem repatriation clause.

3. Fenerbahçe (FB) - These guys are extremely vocal about their support. Though perhaps not as overtly aggressive as Galatasaray, they do chant a lot.

There's something I've observed over the years. If I were to create a list of people I would consider idiots, the vast majority are Fenerbahçe supporters. That's not to say all Fenerbahçe fans are cocks, but most cocks are Fenerbahçe fans.

The marketing behind these three teams is simply awesome. Perhaps things in the UK have changed since my departure but, here in Turkey, the 'Fenerium', 'GS Store' and 'Kartal Yuvası' shops litter high streets and shopping centres, selling everything from team kits to cuff links.

I'll leave this section with the inspiring speech by the National Team's Fatih Terim.

Thursday 6 January 2011

Fezaurus #9

Ben diyorum hadımım sen diyorsun çoluk çocuk nasıl - I tell you I'm a Eunuch, you ask me how the wife and kids are.

A lovely little expression to use when asked a stupid question.

Michael: I'm flat broke.
Janet: Oh, sorry to hear that ...can you lend me a fiver?

Wednesday 5 January 2011

Turkish Sports - Backgammon

Known in Turkey as tavla, the rules of this board game are extremely simple yet take years to master. The aims are three-fold:
  1. Get your pieces round the board and 'home' before your opponent does.
  2. Moving a piece should be done with lightning speed and as loudly as possible ...and preferably while the other player is still finishing their move.
  3. The winner is the one who can most comprehensively insult his opponent's ancestors.

Tuesday 4 January 2011

Fezaurus #8

Ayranı yok içmeye, tahtırevanla gider sıçmaya - There's no yoghurt to drink but I'm carried to the shitter on a sedan chair.

I guess the English would simply say "living beyond your means".