Friday, October 26, 2007

Getting used to...

My third week is Izmit is just starting... and also I'm starting to feel the real differences!

There is one thing I forgot to teel you, about my first day in Istambul: I was just arriving to Zeynep's place and I went inside the house, and almost reach the kitchen, when Zeynep's mom look at me like in a mood of horror!! Well, I when into the house on my shoes... and in musulm customs you must take out your shoes and leave them beside the door to go into the house!!!

Así que como decimos en mi tierra: "que pena tan hij@#$%^&*(+"

Now, this week I was walking around the city, and I realized that in Izmit there are not traffic lights... but really! there are lots of cars and lots of people, and highways, and big avenues, and the traffic is really hard... but there are not traffic lights, so the street walkers are in charge of fight with the cars, buses and trucks, and manage the traffic in that way... Quite fun ahh!!!

But, that's just a details. I'm pleasingly surprise with the value of the honesty that Izmit people use to manage. Every day, to take the bus I have to say "bir ögrenci (pronounced beer orenyi), to the bus driver, so I will be able to pay as student, it means a cheaper price!
And the people, the young people is really honest with this!!!

Even in my work place, my boss leave the portatil in the middle of the plant... for days... and the laptop is still there... in fact, they have a meeting room quite close to the machines bloque, you know, full of workers and so... and the room is open all the time with a video beam and two laptops in there on the table! Oh my godness... I've never seen that even in my univertisy!

Well... I will leave you with some pictures of the past weekend with my trainee mates!

By the way, today arrives to our place another trainee, Risa from Indonesia... she's also muslim and she covers her head and prays 5 times at day. I'm sure I will get amazing learnings from this experience :)


ilghiz said...

Puedo comprendir las empciones de la madre de Zeynep. En Rusia tenemos la misma tradicion, y es no una tradicion, es una regla y una regla importante! The shoes we wear out have all kinds of dirt on them even if can't see them so you have to take them off. If you go to Russia, Japan or any muslim country, you have to take street shoes off and (optionally) put on home shoes.

ilghiz said...

Jaja! Hay mucho de traffico en Izmit pero hay luz de traffico tambien. Es que no puedes las ver. It is a bit hard to see them. There are few traffic lights in Izmit. I remember some in the E5 (e-besh) highway and some in Inonu Avenue (aka Ust Ave which means upper avenue)... They are qie natural on the highway cuz the traffic is huge but on Inonu... On Inonu traffic lights are not automatic: if you want to cross this avenue you gotta find a traffic light and push the button to turn the green on. But even that is not so necessary cuz you can always find space to cross the street.

See the nxt comment on traffic too.

ilghiz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ilghiz said...

Continued from the previous comment on traffic.

There is an avenue in Izmit whose traffic moves in a very strange way.

First I gotta tell ya the difference between "cadde" [read as: jadd-EH] and "sokak". The thing about these terms is that there seems to be no difference at all! Some Turks say "cadde" is a more important street than "sokak". That doesn't sound true cuz some tiny streets are called "cadde" and it is hard to guess what makes them so important. So other Turks say: we don't know the difference.

In Russia we have two words. One of them is "улица" [OO-litsa] which means "street" and to be more precise it is a single road where traffic can move in only one direction (one way streets) or in two directions but on differen sides of the road (two way streets) and there is only a white line on asphalt that separates the ways. The other word is "проспект" [pros-PEKT] which can be translated as "avenue". A "prospect" has two roads separated by not just a line but by trees or a piece of land or a barrier or whatever preventing cars to pass from one road to another. Turkish-Russian dictionaries say that "ulitsa" (a single road with one or two opposite directions) is "sokak" and "prospect" is "cadde". No way! Some Turkish "cadde"s are much and much narrower than the narrowest "ulitsa" (street) in my hometown Naberezhny Chelny!

Go on to the next comment to read about the strange "cadde" in Izmit.

ilghiz said...

There's a wiered street in izmit. Or avenue... or.. I don't know how to call it in any language. It looks like an avenue (I mean like a prospect in Russian - two roads separated by a barrier): the barrier between the roads is quite wide and is called "Yürüyüş yolu" [yu-ru-YOOSH yo-LOO] (Walk Way or could be translated as manifestation way!). Along the sides of the Walk Way there are two roads for traffic. Normally if two roads are divided by a barrier the traffic on these roads s suposed to move in opposite directions. In Izmit it's not like that! Cars, buses, trucks, motorbikes move in the same direction from west to east along both roads!

ilghiz said...

The Walk Way used to be a railway before the earthquake that struck Izmit at the end of the 20th century and the roads along the railway used to lead in opposite directions. After the earthquake one of the directions was inverted and nowadays traffic moves from west to east along both sides of the former railway. By the way, both roads have separate names: the "cadde" on the northern side is Hürriyet caddesi (Freedom Avenue) and the southern "cadde" is called Cumhutiyet caddesi (Republic Avenue).

Photos of the Walk Way on
1. The western end of the Walk Way facing the West.
2. Exactly the same place as in the photo above but facing the East
3. A view from the northern road, photo faces the West.

Other places mentioned in the comments:

E5 highway
which connects Istanbul and Ankara and goes through Izmit. Faces the East.

E5 highway: Rush Hour. Faces the East.

The two photos were taken from the bridge at Halk Evi bus stop and face roughly the east.
The bridge is exactly under this link.

Twilight on E5 highway

Here are some other photos of Izmit on TrekEarth
Note: on the day this post was added, the first picture on the page the above link leads to was by mistake from Istanbul.

Julen said...

jajaja, vió porque es bueno leer sobre la cultura y formas de comportarse antes de entrar en contacto con ella...mucho oso?

Pero que chévere nena, me imagino las experiencias de la vida que estas pasando. Te extraño, Jul