Friday, 9 March 2012

What was my name again?

Today, I was on my way to collect a pair of old boots from the cobbler when I was hailed from the other side of the road. This happens on a daily basis and I'm getting really embarrassed at my bad memory for names.  I see a face that I know, but struggle to put it in a time/place context.  I get a bit of a clue from what is shouted out.  If there is a bellow of "Annie Hoca" (hoca = teacher) , there's a good chance that it's one of my old students. If the call is "Annie Yenge" (relative's wife) it's probably one of my husband's Bodrum friends but definitely not a city friend.  If it's "Annie Hanım" -(Mrs.) then it's somebody I knew more formally, maybe from work.   While my brain is fighting to remember a name, or at least a job title, it seems to forget every word of Turkish I have ever learned, leaving me a stuttering imbecile.  Today I didn't have any difficultly recognizing Ata, one of the two grocer brothers who featured in my blog last month  http://backtobodrum.blogspot.com/2012/02/from-bust-to-boom.html  but I've been stumped on a number of occasions. I've been practicing the Turkish for "Of course I know you, your name is on the tip of tongue." Sometimes a name doesn't help either. I had a long conversation with a chap who seemed to know my life history, who turned out to be a waiter in a restaurant I had frequented in 1992. On Sunday I went to Gumușluk where I used to rent out houses to tourists.  I'd only been there a few minutes and   three people had asked if I was back in business and did I want their apartments. How could they remember? I haven't rented a house there for 13 years. I put this phenomenal recall down to the Turkish education system which depends on learning by rote. By the age of seven, my daughter was expected to have memorized reams of Turkish poetry and the complete terms of the 1923 Lausanne Treaty. She couldn't hack it and neither could I so I whisked her off for a spell in a British primary school. I hope I haven't condemned the poor girl to a life of forgetfulness like her mother.


6 comments:

  1. It is amazing isn't it how Turkish people recognise faces. Wherever we go, someone always recognises us and stops to chat and I'm like you, I just smile politely at them and then Barry has to explain to me, later, who they were. Not good! :)

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    1. I need a "Barry" to keep me up to date

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  2. As one who has never had a good memory for names, I sympathize. Faces I remember, names not so well.

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    1. I'm obviously in the right club then

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  3. When I waved to you yesterday from our as I was hanging out my freshly laundered whites, were you thinking 'who the hell is that?'

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  4. . . with you on this one, ummmm!

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