Sunday, June 13, 2010

East vs. West

Turkey is typically described as the junction where East meets West. Geographically, this is obviously true, bordering the Mediterranean, Aegean and Black Sea, religiously as well, with Christians, Muslims and 'non-believers' living in unison. But here's a list of more trivial East / West distinctions that I've observed thus far:

Chai Wallahs - Asia
Orderly line-ups - Europe
Muted, dark clothing - Europe
Incessant walk-by marriage proposals (to tourists) - Asia
Progressive environmental measures (high prevalence of compact fluorescent lamps, dual flush toilets and solar panels on roof tops even in the poorer villages) - Europe
And somewhat contradictory...garbage burning by the side of the highway - Asia
Male affection (non-sexual) - Asia
Wine and cheese culture - Europe
Direct eye-contact (socially acceptable starring) - Asia
Human labour deployed for every odd job around - Asia


  1. Turks are among the most hospitable people I have come across in my travels and would say this is very Asian

  2. yes agreed! everyone is constantly offering complimentary apple tea.

    also tendancy to sit on the floor - Asian