Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A Russian (or, perhaps, a Ukrainian, Belarusian, or Moldovan?) in Istanbul on March 14.

She was trying to figure out how to buy a jeton - and she was being so slow that a perfectly Soviet line eventually formed behind her.

Here's one of the things she asked the Turkish guy who was trying to help her:

А если ай вонт тумороу гоу?

(A yesli I want tomorrow go?)

Translation: "And what if I want to use the token tomorrow - will it still be valid?"

In general, though, since this is Istanbul, everyone involved was very friendly, including the wild-looking woman.


  1. How could you resist helping her out? In fact, I was told ever since I can remember that it is impolite in such a situation to propose one's help in your own language. It is better to let on you have not noticed the person's accent. For him/her not to lose face.Is that what you did?

    Lately at the town's library a guy came up to us (me and my husband whose mothertongue is Russian) , and first took care to ask us if we could speak French (in my part of Switzerland everybody does!!!?). On he went : "Taak, I am looking, vot, for, vot, books about, vot, vot, ...architecture!"

    He was from Belarus, very nice, and unlike your pick, his looks were not in any way wild.:)

    Take care