One of the surprising things that we didn’t really account for on our residency was the cross fertilisation of other cultures and languages aside from Turkish. We had imagined that we would immerse ourselves into Turkish culture and hoped that we would develop some rudimentary language skills and cultural knowledge.
Because our hosts are native Dutch speakers and many of the other guests have been Dutch speakers, we have inadvertently picked up a couple of words, which is very good, or in Turkish – çok güzel.
When we have eaten with our hosts, we have consumed many gastronomic delights, cooked by Paul. There was many words I did not understand at the dinner table conversation, but the word lekker came up often.
One of the other guests asked me “Do you know what lekker means”? I guessed and replied “yummy” – which was pretty much correct.
Last night at dinner, I decided to be very cheeky when I complimented Paul’s food and commented that is was “çok lekker”.
çok = very
lekker = delicious
There was quite a bit of laughter before Willemijn rightly commented that this was our cultural experience – being exposed to two foreign cultures at once.
We are learning so much, but I feel like we are hardly scratching the surface of understanding – of Turkish or Dutch culture.