Norman Stone

A letter from Turkey

My Turkish never having got beyond intermediate, I always have the same conversation with taxi drivers. ‘Where are you from?’ ‘England, actually I’m a Scotsman,’ I say. Cue suppressed giggles about skirts and whisky from the driver, perhaps a mention of Braveheart. I ask: ‘Where are you from?’ Most taxi drivers in Istanbul are from the Black Sea and they repeat the clichés about Black Sea types: ‘Oh everyone likes you, you’re hard-working with sense of humour.’

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