a kind-of funny story
In every cross-cultural experience, you’re bound to saying something inadvertently offensive. Our trip was no exception. Our first instance of this was when Brian and Gabriel fell in love with the local juice in Turkey. They especially like the cherry (visne) and the peach (çeftali), peach being their favorite. Now, the word peach, in Turkish, means something very different (think female dog), and before they actually learned the word çeftali, they would keep asking Chris to order it for them at restaurants by asking for peach juice — much to Chris’ chagrin and the waiters’ horror!
Another example of this came when we were at a jewelry store in the Diyarbakir marketplace. Cindy wanted to try on a bracelet that reminded the guys of something that Xena, Warrior Princess might wear. So Gabriel (why is it always the guys?) starts imitating Xena’s u-ulating call and chanting the name “Xena, Xena,” loudly out in the open of the market. Passersby started to stare, Karen’s eyes grew huge and she grabbed Gabriel’s arm to get him to stop.
“Zena is the Turkish word for adultery!” she hissed.
Ha-ha! Whoops. Leave it up to the loud, ugly Americans… 🙂