by World Travel Warehouse on Nov 3, 2010
Since the very first day I arrived in Istanbul in 2005, and each time I’ve returned, I’ve always felt very comfortable in the city of Istanbul.
This level of comfort has always bewildered me, for a number of reasons:
1) I don’t like immense crowds (yet Istanbul is home to about 75 times the people that my city has) [200,000 vs. 15,000,000)]!
2) I cannot stand traffic (yet I sit back and go with the flow when I am in Istanbul)
Back then, I couldn’t quite grasp why I felt so comfortable in this mystical city, so far away from my own city of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.
It has only been over the course of numerous years, and many, many trips to Istanbul and also the beautiful country of Turkey, that I have discovered why I feel so “at home,” when I am there.
Turkish people are very similar to Newfoundlanders!!
|He was pretending no, but he was playing and agreed to have his picture taken|
Friendly & Welcoming: Both Turkish people, and Newfoundlanders are friendly and welcoming to the point of making people from larger cities (where people are often just anonymous strangers) almost uncomfortable. In some large cities where everyone is a stranger, some people (not all) have a detached way about them, but I have never found this to be the case in Istanbul – despite the a city having 15 million (and growing) residents!
For their overtly friendly nature, I can’t help but compare every single beautiful Turkish person I’ve met, to Newfoundlanders. They will take you in their car to the other side of town, if you need help. They will walk with you for a mile/km, to help show you the exact way to a location you’re unfamiliar with, and talk to you about your family and your life along the way. I absolutely LOVE this friendliness and it is one of the main reasons I can’t help but compare Turkish people to Newfoundlanders (and love them both).
(Have a great ability to laugh at themselves and not take life too seriously)
How many dudes will dress up in a belly dancer outfit to entice you to buy it?
Seriously, C’mon! I love this guy and his entrepreneurial skills!
It’s a fact that Newfoundlanders (most of us anyway) are known to have a laid-back nature, where we can laugh at our mistakes, and ourselves, and move on. We don’t take life too seriously, and enjoy each day as it comes – for the most part.
Turkish people (at least the ones I’ve met as a tourist visiting different places, and also the dear people that have become close friends of mine), have a very easy-going, laid-back nature. Every Single Turk I know enjoys life to the fullest – this is pretty much true of most Newfoundlanders I know too.
Ask any Turkish person about Bayram and see if there’s not laughter and good times involved!!??
Live in tall, narrow multi-coloured houses (see below)! When I arrived on the cruise ship in 2005, I looked around in awe at what I saw in Istanbul and thought to myself, this city is “like home.” This feeling became even more evident as I walked down the narrow streets behind Topkapi Palace, where the streets are lined with tall, narrow, multi-coloured houses. This is a somewhat unique spectacle to see, and I’ve only seen it in a few other places, St. John’s Newfoundland, some Nordic countries or cities, such as Stockholm and of course Istanbul.
I felt immediately at home with these narrow streets and tiny houses (despite the fact that St. John’s has about 1/100 the population of Istanbul).
|Istanbul (Halic) Turkey|
|St. John`s, Newfoundland|
Not to crap on city-dwellers (I used to be one) but people from rural communities tend to have more of an easy-going, and peaceful way about them. Maybe it’s due to the less frenetic pace enjoyed living outside the city core – I tend to think that’s the reason. There also seems to be a throw-back to simpler times and life is lived at a slower pace in rural communities. I like it and I like old-fashioned, simpler ways of living too.
|Lady in Turkish traditional garb spinning wool for rug-making, Cappadocia, Turkey|
|Fishing community in Gros Morne, Newfoundland|
It is something that just makes a person “want to come back.” I have talked to so many people that have visited both Newfoundland and Turkey, and they talk about “going back” all the time. I believe there is something that pulls at your heartstrings in both places.
I hope everyone has the opportunity to visit both places some day.