Friday 18 February 2011

Things I'd never done before moving to Turkey #6

Go for a shave and accidentally become a Muslim.

I was at the barber the other day. As always, the conversation of religion came up which, in term, leads to discussion of the health benefits of circumcision.

During the rather heated debate (well, monologue really. I never get into a debate about religion with a Turk... especially one who's holding a razor to my neck), the barber asked me to try and recite some Arabic. I did as he said and repeated his words.

"Now you're a muslim!", he said with a smile. "When you say those words, you automatically become a muslim".

"OK cool... How much do I owe you?" the way, if you're interested, this is what you have to say:
“Eşhedü el la ilahe illallah ve eşhedü enne Muhammeden abdühü ve Resülühü”
Or more simply...
"لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله"

Thursday 17 February 2011

Ruin Nation

Turks have a strange habit of giving away the endings to movies they've seen to those who don't know. This also applies to Soap Operas (that are huge in Turkey).

What is particularly interesting is that people actually seem to want to know the answers to the mysteries. Whereas in England, you might get a punch in the chops for giving away the plot twist, in Turkey, it seems to be part of the whole gossip culture...

Ayse: Bruce Willis is actually dead.
Murat: Noooo, I can't believe it.
Ayse: Yeah, I was so suprised.
Murat: Allah Allah.