The Horn Chorus

Turks are impatient motorists. Their ambling deportment on foot is transformed into Formula 1 wannabes as soon they get behind the wheel. Sometimes the narrow lane in front of our house is grid locked. This might be because a delivery truck is blocking the road by doing what delivery trucks do or simply due to the sheer volume of traffic trying to cut across town on market days. Crazy moped drivers weave dangerously through the static traffic and overheating drivers play the horn chorus. We watch the melee from the safety of our balcony. It can be quirky and comical, boisterous and baffling but rarely bothersome. However, we have witnessed two memorable hot-headed conflagrations, the first aided by a baseball bat and the second resulting in a violent push, a blow to the head and a few minutes on the ground unconscious. Still, I suppose it’s small beer compared to an average Saturday night in Croydon Centrum. To think that Alexander the Great, the most famous of ancient queens, marched along this very thoroughfare to claim old Halicarnassus (Bodrum that was) as his own before beating up the Persians and conquering half the known world. Get the madam!

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14 thoughts on “The Horn Chorus

  1. I find that the more responsible and roadwise driver (ok us foreigners) are aware that their responses and style of driving depends on the seasons and calls for extra vigilance to suit the climate. One has to take into account not only the mental and sometimes stupid actions of other drivers and be alert at all times. Apart from this one has to deal with the pedestrian who is rendered more latargic in the soaring temperatures of July who cannot move any qiucker than a snail on a stroll out. Instead of moving themselves when the approaching car is but 2 feet away from them they just carry on shuffling at 00.1 mph and give you the bad look which says I’m hot, I’m tired and I want to cross the road – what’s your problem!

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    1. As a pedestrian you have to keep your wits about you along these narrow streets. Many of the roads are one way but this inconvenient fact is ignored by many drivers and bikers.Thank God for the green cross code I learned in my distant youth.

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  2. I know exactly what you are saying! I’ve lived here for 15 years but am constantly surprised by the driving/accidents. You have a great way with words and I love the Alexander the Great link. Have just found your blog, what a treat.

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  3. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that when I used to drive in Turkey a few years back I picked up some of the Turkish bad habits..easily done. On a trip to England during this time, I was taking my daughter out in a borrowed car and, without thinking, jamming my hand on the horn at every opportunity until my daughter, exasperated, said “For gods sake Mum, you’re not in Turkey now!”

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  4. Yep, same here Jack!! I’m constantly entertained as I sit on my balcony overlooking the main street, and sometimes gobsmacked by the total indifference, and impatience, with other drivers! Drivers of 06 (Ankara) and 34 (Istanbul) numberplates seem to be the worst.

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  5. Linda- You have hit the nail on the head with the numbers plates from Ankara and Istanbul. I think we should ban those crazy drivers from ever entering the coastal resorts!

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  6. Sorry, got my cursor in the wrong place; should have read – This is a terrible slight, akin to racism. What about the other 79 plaka numbers, how do you think they will feel? (or words to that effect)

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  7. What I found difficult to get used to at the beginning is that tooting the horn doesn’t always mean “get out of the way”. it can mean “Hello, how are you?”, “Do you want a lift?”, “Your flies are down”, “I’ve got a new car and I’m checking if the most important part (the horn) works” or just “I’m happy today”

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  8. Yep, same here Jack!! I’m constantly entertained as I sit on my balcony overlooking the main street, and sometimes gobsmacked by the total indifference, and impatience, with other drivers.
    thank bodrumtour…

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