Turkish tea for me
Mmmm, a glass of hot Turkish tea. Warms me down to my world wide webbed toes. Hey would ya look at that..there's a fly in my tea..wow! my lucky day.
Gwen's sincere apology
I am really sorry I didn't finish the last newsletter yesterday, for I had to catch the company service bus at 18:15. And I couldn't save the newsletter on the web model with the Turkish computer, so I had no choice but publish it. I am sorry about this. As below, I will keep up the unfinished part, and start another new topic.
another mistake I made is the price of the tea. Usually, a small glass of tea is free after meal in the restaurant, costs 50,000 T.L. (1.25 NTD), and costs 400,000 T.L. (10 NTD) in a general tea shop. The tea cost us 1,400,000 T.L. (45 NTD) in the expensive tea shop we went in the afternoon. It's really expensive.
p.s. I still cannot upload my photos, because all of them are over 100K. What can I do?
the most important ceremony
Everyone got back to their seat when the music stopped. The couple stand in front of the stage. They both wore a long white scarf, and people started to line up give the couple the regards and gifts. The bride and groom kissed everyone's two cheeks by cheeks. Most of the gifts are golden bracelet, and the bride wore all of them on her arms. Some people gave cash (even EURO), and these cash was pined on their white scarf. There are also some special little golden decoration with little red ribbon bow, as a classicla wedding gift, I think.
After the gift giving ceremony, the couple went back to the preparation room took off the gift. And the "Na-Ka-Shi" band stuffed the time with traditional songs. There were cola and cookies served on the table, but not many people are interested.
Again, the bride and groom walked out of the room, and started another Turkish dance party. I start to learn how to shake my shoulders and butt. In Chinese dance, fingers , wrist and elbow movement are seen a lot, but it's common for them to shake their shoulders and butt following the strong rhythm in the Turkish dance.
It's interesting that naturally men and women seperated when they were dancing. The groom danced in the center of a circle of men, and sometimes they hug and kissed each other's cheek from men to men. it's not formal in any other culture for men to be so intimate, but you will get used to it here.
That's for all of the Turkish wedding. My friends were exhausted dancing with their high-heels. We left the wedding at 11p.m. and went into another outdoor tea shop again. They discussed about the wedding, but I don't understand them and just sat there.
From the wedding, I can realize how important dancing is for their culture and also no wine at all in the ceremony. Because wine is not allowed in the Muslim culture, though they drink a lot usually. And also, I think for my colleagues, it's a good social place for them to meet some men, because for them, they don't have any chance in the week days, backing from home and company without social life. That's why they paid so much attention on their makeup and dressing. But I am sorry that they were disappointed again.
Turish National Drink
Turkish Coffee must be one of the first thing you think of when it comes to Turkey. Unfortunately, it's not the most common drink in Turkey. Tea, as they say "Cay", very similar pronounciation with the "Cha" in Chinese, acts as the national drink here.
I learn this when I was served 5 big cups of tea a day in the company. All most every company has its own tea lady making and sevicing unlimited tea all day long. When there are guests, also tea is served.
In the commercial buildings without tea ladies, there are always tea service in the first floor, and tea boys serve glasses of tea when you order. On the shopping street, you will see lots of empty tea glass along the street, and tea boys are responsible for sending tea and taking the glass back. Usually teenager boy do this job, and if they break the glass on the way of sending, they have to suffer the loss. Tea service is the special vocation under this tea culture. In the family, always making tea. Breakfast, tea; after meal, tea; tea time, tea; nothing to do, of course tea.
The special shape for the small tea glass is like women's body, with curve on it and always transparent. There is also a transparent tea tray, tea spoon, and sugar as a set. The teapots making tea are special also. They use two tiers of teapots at the same time. The upper teapot (smaller) hold tea leaves and the other teapot hold only water.
First, they put tea leaves into the upper pot and pout cold water into it. It's very different from our way of making tea. And then, they boil the water inside the two tiers of pot altogether. You can decide how strong you want the tea by controlling the water (in the lower pot). Then, they put suger, stir it, and finish it with very high temperature. Every time when I wait for my tea cold down, the tea lady always cannot stand me, as she says, no one drinks cold tea. Also, in the tea shop, if the tea is not hot enough, they will ask for another glass.
Fantastic Turkish Coffee (Türk Kahvesi)
Indeed, Turkish people do fortune telling by finished turkish coffee cup.
The difference between the coffee we are familiar with and Turkish coffee is the way they grind the coffee bean. Turkish people grind the coffee bean so thin that they cannot use filter paper when they cook their coffee. After they boil their thin coffee powder with water and suger, they pour both the coffee mud and coffee inside the small cup. You have to wait for the mud to deposit and then drink it without adding cream.
If you want to be told about your fortune, then you have to finish the coffee by yourself (of course). Cover the cup with the coffee tray and turn it over. Make a wish while you circle the cup around your head. Then, put it back to the table, and wait for the coffee mud to deposit again on the tray.
Usually, when they want the outcome ready quicker, they put their ring on the top of the cup bottom to cool the cup. After around ten minutes, the fortune teller start to read the shape of the mud goes inside the cup and on the tray. She will tell you what she reads and answer if your wish is going to come ture, without asking you anything about your wish or your information. You don't have to ask her about a certain interested topic either, because she just reads the mud, and tells you everything. Amazing? Come to Turkey and give it a try.
Another different drink, Ayran
I don't describe too much about this drink, because none of trainees here in Turkey likes this drink. They stir yogurt, salt and cold water altogether to make Ayran. Also, you can buy already-made Ayran in the supermarket. They think it's yuck to eat yogurt sweet, when I tell them I love strawberry flavour yogurt, and of course I cannot find any fruit flavour yogurt here. And I think I am polite enough not to tell them that I think it's yuck to eat yogurt salty. Don't you think so?