Thursday, November 17, 2011

Taking out the Trash

When I moved into my apartment, I was told (or rather shown) to place my bags of trash on the sidewalk in front of my apartment building. In late summer especially it was kind of gross because the stray cats and dogs in the neighborhood were pretty good at sniffing out the chicken bones and fish skins so broken bags and garbage were strewn across the sidewalk. (With a dumpster, at least, the stray animals eat their meals inside the container and keep the streets clean.)

Luckily, at some time during the day, a man pushing a hand cart stops by our trash pile and picks up the bags of trash. There is even a short window of time when the sidewalk is trash free. (Where the trash goes after the man on with the push cart, I still don't know.) Anyway, all was fine and good until about two weeks ago when my neighbor Azzet saw me placing my bag of trash on the sidewalk and she waved her arm and clucked "Yok, yok!" and then proceeded to make me pick up my bag of trash and move it to a place behind the apartment gate so as not to be seen from the sidewalk. I obliged with a smile and thought that behind the gate was actually a better place to put the trash...It's out of sight for the pedestrians.

Fast forward to this morning when, as usual, I placed my trash behind the gate and heard a "Yok, yok!" plus a string of what sounded like Turkish expletives directed at me. An angry man's finger was pointing at my trash bag and then at me and indicating that my trash needed to be moved to the sidewalk. He wouldn't stop yelling until I did as I was told.

Well, either I'm in the middle of some type of apartment dwellers' argument about where trash bags should be placed, or there are unwritten rules about trash bags, times, and placements. (For example, if morning..on sidewalk...if night...behind gate...)In any event, I was not in the mood for this type of early morning berating. So, in my best angry Turkish voice I tried to convey my displeasure at the tone of his voice and the confusing unwritten rules about trash bags. Here are the 4 words I was able to say "Azzet ve sen.... anlamadin" (Azzet and you...I don't understand.) Yep...I don't think my message was clear at all. But it sure felt good to say in my angry voice...

What I really want to know is why the apartments one street behind have a dumpster. Then I wouldn't need to learn more vocabulary for this silly conversation.

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