If you truly want to travel for vacation, you will definitely find a way, no matter which excuse crops up in your vocabulary. My friend and I were really looking forward to our holiday in Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, last January. When you actually head to a place, everyone tells you about the attractions to look forward to. No one gives you a reality check about the real issues you’re going to face.
A Turkish man was insulting and swearing an Arab lady right after the airport’s security stopped me for 1 hour, examining my passport’s validation date and trying to figure out what “June” means, I am not sure how many colleges he asked about it, but I’m sure they were more than 10!
Here are the top 10 problems we faced in Turkey!
Language Problems/ Turkish people are Racist
I Thought that Istanbul, was going to be much better than it was, the city is really beautiful, and everything is organized but the main problem that we have faced in Turkey, is the language; Most of the people only speaks( only wants to speak) Turkish or Kurdish, everyone rarely speak any English or Arabic – In other words if you don’t speak Turkish, you’re doomed. You can’t go anywhere or order anything, because nobody will understand you, from taxi drivers to waiters. Buying water or tissues is going to be as hard as it could be. Taxi drivers are another story, we asked the taxi to drive us to a pub and he took us to a “Nargile” Cafe instead.
Luckily I am a technology freak, after the first couple experiences, I thought it would be better to start using Mobile applications such as foursquare, Google Maps, and Google Translate to help us communicate with the Turkish people, and it helped us a lot, but still it was like we’re deaf, we never understood anything they said, our only hope was to ask random people if they’re Arabs to help us. Turkish people are not friendly and they’re uneducated, they can’t even speak their own native language. Unlike my hometown Beirut, where almost everybody can speak English or French, even my Grandma!
Princes Island, Turkey
This was one of the most boring experiences of my life. We took one of these carriage rides. There is nothing special about it, the horse ride is expensive and smelly, they take you on a pointless tour around the island to show you houses and Pines!
There were so many dogs and cats on the island, but they were drugged somehow, they could barely move. From what I’ve seen Animals were treated very bad, many had bleeding wounds. I would not recommend the experience to anyone!
- Waiters will add food that you didn’t order to your bill, we payed 60$ for 2 “nargile”, and some fruits we didn’t even order!
- People will come to you on the street promising you girls and a good time, don’t follow or respond to them, they’re mafias, and hookers are illegal in Istanbul, you might end up in Jail.
- Too much beggars around Taksim, if you give one money, he will send his “Gang” to ask you for more, and Police doesn’t do anything about it!
- Transportation is really expensive the nearest place will cost you around 10$
- Smokes and food are expensive too, unless you don’t mind eating at local restaurants or fast food!
- If someone gives you Lira with phone number/address or a stupid drawing on it don’t accept it. The money is not not in circulation,anymore and you can’t use it.
- Cab drivers will tour the city before they drop you to your location and make sure he rips you off the most, some even have fake counters, we ended up paying 50$ for a 10 min drive.
- You can’t buy brands from Turkey, you will end up buying fake Chinese products, be sure to ALWAYS have Turkish lira with you. When you want to pay in dollars, sellers will scam you.
Although Istanbul is a very beautiful city, it’s very difficult to communicate and enjoy your time there, if you want to truly enjoy your time there’s no better place in the Middle East other than my Hometown Beirut, or Dubai!