Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Turkey Vignette #3: Up Yours Too!

Scene: My two friends and I are walking to the Hagia Sophia. It feels like it's about 5,000 degrees, and we all feel absolutely disgusting. We're chatting away while walking under the blazing sun. Then, all of a sudden, this old Muslim woman and gives us the following gesture.

Me: "What the fuck was that?"

My friend, S: "Uh. I have no idea."

(We continue with our sightseeing. Later on, at hour hotel, we talk about the thumb's up we received).

Me: "What the hell was that woman giving us the thumb's up for? Did we do something?"

My friend, M: "You know, I think in Muslim countries, giving the thumb's up is like giving the middle finger."

My friend, S: "What?!? What the hell were we doing?"

Me: "I have no idea. We were just talking. Maybe she just doesn't like Americans."

My friend, M: "Well that was kind of stupid. She's trying to insult us, and we don't even understand what she means."

Me: "It's a good thing we didn't understand, because, let me tell you, in those type of situations, I have a mouth."

(We all triumph in our intellectual superiority, but wishing that it really meant something.)



Ming the Merciless said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

That's funny. And odd.

Ming the Merciless said...

Maybe she saw a good looking Asian man and decided to give you "the thumb up", literally and/or figuratively.

Old women need love too.

thwany said...


Soul Seared Dreamer said...

In such situations these people are so ignorant.. that your words would have been wasted and likely in a language she has no comprehension of.

A slap on the other hand... is a whole different story ;o) ... of course I'm not saying you should ever hit an old woman.. but you could have accidently stepped on her foot or something ;o)

Ming the Merciless said...

If you continue your blog, you will be blessed with THIS.

Your Fairy Godmother

teahouse said...

It's funny how different hand gestures mean different things in different cultures. Apparently, in China when you make a hand motion like you're shooing someone away, it actually means you want them to come toward you.