“Oi! Get back to your place Mrs. Village Pants!“. I’m guessing a few of you in Turkey will relate to this one – the rude idiots that think they can barge straight in front of you in a queue because they are better than you. Elbows in your side, breathing down your neck or chicken tutting as you try and get something official done – “Bugger off…get back to your place and wait your turn!”
NOTE TO SELF: GETTING PAPERWORK DONE ON TUESDAYS IS TO BE AVOIDED
I went to the government building to get a spot of paperwork sorted. Simple you may think? Well…humm…NO! I just needed a form printed off and stamped, a two-minute job at most. Was it easy? Nope, not much in terms of paperwork is ever easy in Turkey.
“Why did you go today?” said my oh so sensible hubby as I called him fuming having spent the best part of an hour being elbowed and scrapping to get (and keep) my rightful place in a queue. “It’s Tuesday,” Unal says as if that will make me feel a whole lot better,”it’s market day!”.
In hindsight, now my rage at the village women has subsided, I know I was stupid to even to consider trying to get something done on market day. Tuesdays are, after all, the day that all villagers and locals head to town to do their weekly shop meaning banks, roads, and government offices are crammed.
IS THERE ANYTHING RUDER THAN BEING DISMISSED WITH A CHICKEN “TUT”?
This was not my first visit to an official office here but I had hoped the introduction of a ticket system would have eased the queue jumping situation. I obviously just picked the wrong day as surprise surprise, the machine had run out of tickets meaning it was a free for all.
I was about three back initially, patiently awaiting my turn. Then the son of a man at the front turned up…fair enough, it was his son so I let that one slide. Then two other women came in, stared at me and just as I moved to get served, they barged in front of me wielding reams of paperwork emerging from a seemingly bottomless BIM bag (carrier bag). This infuriated me. I said politely in Turkish “I was first, please wait“. They gave me daggers, did the chicken tut, mumbled I was a ‘yabanci’ (foreigner) and continued talking to the lady behind the counter. I said again louder, “it’s my turn, please wait“, but was completely ignored all but for a louder chicken “tut” emerging from the larger of the two busty village panted women.
The chicken “tut”. What is it you may be thinking? My conclusion; it’s something that Turks develop at an early age as a lazy way to say ‘no’ or to dismiss something. It’s a tut of the teeth (think a chicken noise) followed by a slight upward movement of the head, raising of the eyebrows and glance away. It looks and sounds ridiculous, like a flaming scrapping hen, and in certain cases such as this, it’s downright RUDE!
The village pant women were there over 15 minutes. It was nearly lunchtime and I started thinking I was going to have to wait another hour as come noon all the workers leg it off for their midday beans and cay. Luckily I was served next, a two-minute job and all sorted.
My questions are…would you have waited politely as I did? Would you have kicked up more fuss? Is this behaviour acceptable? Should I perfect the art of the chicken tut?
Queue jumping happens all the time here in Turkey, it’s frustrating and as a foreigner, even with Turkish citizenship and a smattering of the language to argue with, it REALLY PISSES YOU OFF!