Just Cussing Google It: Istanbul Edition

Let me say this one time, and one time only: sometimes I just don’t know the answer. There it is. You’ll probably never hear me say that again. So congratulations on receiving privileged information.

Sometimes you just see something odd on the street, and you wonder what the heck it is. Maybe you’re curious about the back-story to a random painting, or ponder about the meaning of that symbol you keep seeing… everywhere. What should a person do when faced with a situation where you refuse to admit your own ignorance?  Just Cussing Google It. JCGI is a phrase or acronym that I adopted from a friend.  Those who prefer a more strongly worded version tend to say JFGI, and I’m sure you can fill in the blank for F: Just Frantically Google It, of course. Either way you refer to it, you’ll find that 60 percent of the time, it is always the perfect answer.

When Noel sees a curious sight on the street and approaches me with my vast knowledge base, I can’t possibly disappoint her with an, “I don’t know”. So instead she gets, “JCGI”. Maybe this means “I have absolutely no idea”, but for all she knows, maybe I’m just too wise, well-informed, learned, educated, well-read, erudite, scholarly, cultured, cultivated, enlightened, and all the other words Thesaurus.com just gave me for high-and-mighty, to stoop down and answer such a lowly question as, “Why are they waving those red flags?”

Since this blog needs to meet its quota of truthiness, I’ll say this: There were many, many, many times, in every city we toured that I was clueless. So I’ve decided to share some of my questions and googles for you. So without further ado:

Just Cussing Google It: Istanbul Edition

They’re everywhere in Istanbul, just hanging out, sleeping, doing their non-aggressive thing.  But some of them have tags in their ears…. Why?

A: Animal control in Istanbul doesn’t collect and cage their dogs. Instead they collect and vaccinate their dogs.  Then they release them to live happily on the street amongst wandering pedestrians. Not a bad idea. Food is left out for them. They sleep and wander.  No harm, no foul, right? Maybe we should consider this for America’s rampant STD and teenage pregnancy crisis … “Hey, sergeant, collected this twelve year old boy skateboarding on First Street” “Okay, Bob, give him the works: vaccinate him against unsightly cold sores, uncontrollable itchiness, and throw in the won’t-get-a-girl-pregnant-til-marriage vaccine, too. Then tag his ear and we’re good”.

So to sum it up, if it’s got a tag in its ear, it’s safe. The dog has had all its shots and shouldn’t give you anything besides a sniff of the butt or a lick of the hand (i.e. no rabies).

You can see the tag in this dog's ear, just outside the Aya Sofya

A dog totally unaware the a group of tourists in Cappadocia are walking around it.

Maybe they already are tagging the ears of stray humans.......

Men with Scales
Walk around the streets of Istanbul for a day and you’re bound to see a man on the side of the street chillin with a scale by his feet. This will make you ask, “…..huh?”

A: Weigh yourself! If you don’t have a scale at home and you’re curious to see if those Turkish ice creams are catching up with you then look no further than that man on the side of the road with a scale. Don’t be surprised if your reading isn’t accurate, though, or if you consult the next road-side weight measuring man, and get a different result. You know that could be a good business card title…. Ibrahim Oziel R.S.M.  Road-Side Weight Management.  The next time I weigh myself on a crowded bridge, I’ll propose this business card idea.

It's fitting that I had to google this picture, since I didn't have any.

What is this word that looks like Cobra that I keep seeing on restaurant signs?

A: Soup.

The Blue “Eye” Symbol
It’s everywhere, lit’rally everywhere: on a child’s pram, over doorways, painted on oil trucks, hanging from trees, but what the hiz-eck is it and why is it EVERYWHERE?!??

A: It’s the eye of Medusa.  Prepare yourself for a popular myth explained very badly, ready?  Athena loved this really hot guy. Medusa did, too. But I guess Medusa was a babe where as Athena was librarian style plain. Obviously, being a guy, Poseidon picks the babe over the librarian leaving one very unhappy goddess of reference books. Athena turns Medusa into stone. End of story. Nobody wins. So now the saying goes that since it was jealousy and envy that turned Medusa into stone, if you have those feelings in your heart when you look at her stony-blue eye that evil will be reflected back to you and you’ll be turned to stone. Therefore, if you have something nice like a baby, your own business, or even a beat up truck, you can put Medusa’s eye on it to ward off evil thoughts. Example: I’m having an awesome hair day > I put a barrette with Medusa’s Eye in my hair > you look at my gorgeous flowing locks with jealousy > you’re turned to stone! BAM! WHAT NOW!? HA!

I guess the things that prompt the most envy in Turkey are keys, because there are a LOT of Medusa Eye key chains.

Another Googled Goodie! don't you dare be jeals.....

Muslim Prayers
The call to prayer sounds 5 times a day and Muslims are required to pray 5 times a day, but we never saw anyone put down their doner carving knife, leave their weaving loom, or excuse themselves from driving the bus to pull out their prayer mats when the call to prayer sounded…. what gives?

A: First of all, let me say this: google authors could be anyone anywhere if they just make a website, correct? So when I say Just Cussing Google It, maybe sometimes that could mean asking our new friend and travel agent, Huseyin…. right? His answer was short and sweet and much quicker than typing your question in the search box, then scanning for the best and most concise spoon-fed answer: “They just pray 5 times at the end of the day”.

Montezuma’s Revenge
Why, oh why did this happen to me and how long must I suffer?????

A: You ate that fateful salad, and 3-5 days on average. Don’t worry, Stephanie, you will live through this.

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One thought on “Just Cussing Google It: Istanbul Edition

  1. Etalia says:

    cool! i learned something in this post. Thanks!

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