Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wordpress and a taxi driver

The ban on Wordpress is still there, after 5 weeks.
Some people found a way to get access to wordpress blogs by replacing the word 'wordpress' by 'wordprexy'.
Now we face the same problem again: no access available to this domain name as it is now blocked as well.

I know that Turks want to hear 'nice stories', beautiful stories. But I can tell you, talk with the Turkish taxi drivers. They are the most honest and they give me always a good time. But in business life...that's another story.

Today I took a taxi from Macka to Etiler, and waiting by the stopping lights a little girl asked me for money, trying to sell some water. Everybody was threated this child (Roman) as trash, chasing her away. I told the taxi driver to stop and I gave her some money. The taxi driver, confused, got suddenly tears in his eyes and give her a note of 20 YTL. She was so thankful, almost crying. We both know that this is nothing for one day: she can buy some food for her family...but what then? I gave her some coins as well, and I think she cashed that moment more money than the whole day, since in general Turkish people consider beggars as trash.
Anyway, we reached our destination, and the taxi driver's meter was still one. I wanted to pay him but he refused. In broken English he said: you paid already. Thank you.

12 comments:

Cem said...

One of the best post I read lately.
Regards

Priyank said...

1. Roman? are there Romans (Italian??) in Turkey? how did you recognise?
2. Why did HE cry?
3. In India child begging is a big racket. There are agents who collect daily cut from the kids. I hope it is not that way there.
Nice post but I got confused :)

jake said...

I love it Hans. This is truly a great story. I love when the people who are often ignored as a part of the scenery (both taxi drivers and beggars) come into focus and can be seen for the real people that they are. I was also moved with compassion today when i saw a woman, obviously a beggar, completely in hysterics, crying alongside a busy road. I'm sure she'd been verbally belittled or worse by someone in a car, but I actually called her over to give some money. The cynic in me made me wonder if this moment of real emotion would turn into a bit... i.e. wow, if I can really work up the tears like yesterday, people will give money without me even asking.

Sean Jeating said...

My heart rose like a falcon up to the sky; and it is still rising . . .

sincerae said...

I wish that if it were financially practical for me to stay in Turkey that I could set up some sort of nonprofit organization for the elderly, crippled, and the children who beg on Istanbul's streets. I get so frustrated when some Turks say the "same ones are out there begging" or "our parents tell us not to give those beggars anything because they are richer that we are."

These people need to be helped more than on one or two holy days a year, ie. Bayram. I see how some of them go crazy with excitement when I come near them because they know I am a foreigner, and that if they wait exclusively on their own countrymen and women, they will starve.

I think about the time I was at the otogar to do the visa run and one woman was just shouting at the top of her voice following me. The guy who was supposed to be helping me, and who ripped me off, did not want me to give her anything. He wanted all for himself.

I always hand out money to the beggars when I see them. I feel it is my responsibility as an person from the richest nation on earth to help. But firstly, it is also a duty of my religion to do so everyday if I can. Giving for me is not about some reward or brownie points I hope to get. It is about giving and assisting from the heart. It makes me feel good!

Thanks Hans for this story and this good deed:)

mirdifderya said...

It's a sad story Hans.!

Priyank: Roman means; Gypsy.
The Taxi driver were very emontional what han's wanted to do I guess thats why crying.(sorry Hans answering on behalf, if I understood Mistaken)

There is that sort of groups as well, send those beggers and earn money on them. Thats why people walking on the street are careful.

Priyank said...

Thanks mirdifderya for answering :) (wake up Hans, sleeping always!)

Hans said...

Thanks Derya for the explanation..))
Priyank, I am day dreaming, nothing wrong with that...
Hope you will survive a full winter in Canada..)))

yasemin said...

Well, it is a nice story, but... You can blame it on my being Turkish, you 'foreigners', but those people that are begging out there on the streets in Turkey aren't always what they seem to be. That's why we Turks think twice, or more, before we make a motion towards our purses when a beggar approaches us.. It is the same also here in Italy. The street corners, the traffic lights are full of people that are waiting to attack you, begging for money, begging for cigarettes, trying to wipe clean (wipe dirty would be the correct thing to say) your car's flash lights or windows.. And when you don't give them money, or you don't let them wipe a piece of your car they may get angry with you! There have been drivers that have been harassed by these guys. One gypsy woman threw the ash of her cigarette on my car when I didn't let her wipe my car with the dirty piece of cloth she had in her hands. We should be realistic, not blinded by our feelings...

Hans said...

I don't think that it is fun to be a beggar....((((

sincerae said...

A lot of people use similar excuses in the US: "they'll only use the money for alcohol or drugs." Help anyway. You might be helping a person who really needs it.

Life is about risk. I wouldn't have come over here if I had worried if I might not be paid. My employer has refused to pay for half of my plane ticket, even though he promised to. He says he will give me my salary. He might not. I will know whether he will in about a week. But I took the risk to come to Istanbul anyway, even though I knew what I had to offer might not be appreciated. Giving out a few YTL to a beggar is smaller than the hundreds of dollars I have lost coming here to Turkey each time.

Dating said...

One of the best post I read, thanks!