17 March, 2010

Yavşak

Here goes nothing. İ've set my Mac keyboard to replicate a Türkçe PC keyboard, so i can learn to type more efficiently and ınclude Turkish characters without cutting and pasting all the time. I'm slow to type already, and now i have to think… what fun! (Not to mention the frustrating and inexplicable absence of quotation marks. Oh, ctrl - here they are! Questıon mark still missing.)

Learned a new word the other night, a fun word: yavşak. According to google translate, it means "a bad hat". According to my neighbors in the dormitory, it means "bastard".

I suppose for slang, the etymology makes sense. The reference, you see, was to some of the fellows i met on a recent trip. One of my friends knew them, and said i ought not to trust such fellows. Of course, other friends have said not to listen to him. Which raises an intriguing question: why do people so readily pigeonhole others?

Of course, some folks are simply not to be trusted. Especially when you've limited command of the language. Some of them, in the sage words of a certain Eurythmics song, want to use you, and ... some of them want to abuse you. Still, i am a bit surprised at the ease with which my acquaintances write off others as ill-intentioned. Türkiye, like many nations who lag behind the pack economically, presents an intriguing mixture of generosity and opportunism. In retrospect, some of my beach acquaintances might have intended to use me as a means of meeting the girls i traveled with. But tell me, in all honesty, how often we act from singular intention. More often i think, our motives change with time. From the way those soldiers waved goodbye from the bus, i'm rather certain that whether or not their original intent was dishonorable (as my friends assumed), in several of their minds i was indeed a new friend. And whatever the case, if the guy's intent is dishonorable, there's a particular dangerous fun in staying one step ahead of the yavşak.