The Turkish Art of Construction-Watching


After such a lovely vacation in Greece, it’s been hard to readjust to the ol’ grind back in Turkey.  This past week has simultaneously been slow and crazy trying to settle back into a bit of a routine for these last few weeks of school.

Even though I’ve been here for almost a year now (how is that even possible!?), I’m still learning something new about Turkey every day.  My most recent discovery is the traditional Turkish pastime of watching construction.  The school is currently undergoing some construction for a new Arts building (yay!), so there’s been a lot of digging, drilling, and demolition around here lately.  To me, it seemed like nothing special.  If anything, it was a bit of a nuisance to have to try to teach a class through all the racket.  The students, however, seemed fascinated by what was going on.  I had to coax my 10th graders away from the outside railing to actually come to class.

Initially I thought it was just a silly excuse for students to sit outside and duck out on a few minutes of class, but it turns out the love of watching construction is a legit thing here.  Even after classes, students were crowded in droves to watch all the action.  Even some of the cats were watching!  I finally had to ask what it was all about and the students explained that it was very normal for families to sit outside, drink some hot tea, and just watch construction.  It’s a soothing sight for many Turks.

I couldn’t help but laugh to myself at the thought of sitting and watching a large yellow drilling machine tapping at a few measly bricks all day…to me it seemed just a notch above watching paint dry.  Still, I felt like I had to at least give it a try, so as the sun was setting, I stepped out to one of the balconies as the sun was setting to see what the hype was.  It turns out it was a pretty nice way to spend the evening, although to be fair, I think it was more about the nice weather and the sunset than it was about the drill.  Also, I didn’t have any tea handy, so I guess it wasn’t the full experience anyway.

Oh, Turkey.  Seni seviyorum!

2 thoughts on “The Turkish Art of Construction-Watching

  1. Well it is some sort of meditation. You think about life, your future plans, take a sip from your tea, it is just way better than watching something static. Your mind needs to be fully occupied in order to enjoy construction watching.

    Liked by 1 person

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