I am a french expatriate mom, and this is my blog, “La Vie d’Expat en Dessins”. If you like to travel, to laugh, to observe the little things that make life so unique, this is for you ! I write one article, illustrated with my work, each week. So have a good read !
Upon arrival to a new territory, one of the things you will probably notice first is the way people are driving.
A universal rule seems to apply everywhere, at least in Europe : the further south you go, the crazier it gets (the South is a vague concept that probably embraces all the lands that lie about a 100 miles south from your home and where people start wearing sweaters and boots when the temperature dratistically drops under 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, I am looking at you, California.) Anyway, according to that rule, for French people Turkey is a southern country – it doesn’t matter if the winter is cold and if we get more snow in Istanbul than in Paris. Actually, if you live in Istanbul, be kind, and tell your friends before they visit that flip-flops in March is a bad plan.
That said, driving in Turkey remains a crazy experience. After living in the States during six years, where the only skills required are 1) be able to make a left turn 2) be able to make a left turn while sipping your latte (for the most advanced drivers only), arriving in Istanbul was a shock. I saw in the frightened looks of my expatriate friends that the mere idea of driving was only for the brave. But I guess I like challenges…
So in order to give you the best possible idea of what being in the traffic in Istanbul is like, I’ll give you the example of the worst possible situation, where you don’t control anything: a cab ride! Which could, unfortunately, be the first experience you have in Turkey, after getting out of the airport (if you are an expat and want to prevent people from invading your home on a regular basis, recommending a cab might just be what you need to make them think twice…)
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To read another article in English, click here.