Lucy, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’ve been fascinated with languages and other cultures since first visiting France as a teenager. Throughout university my school friend and I worked part time jobs during the summer holidays to save up and travel for a few weeks. Now I’ve lived in four different countries and still love learning languages – currently I’m working on my Turkish and trying to learn Arabic too.
Where do you live? Where are you from? If those are different, can you tell us a little about what inspired your move?
At the moment I live in Turkey. My husband Karim and I met in Spain and we thought it would be good to live in a third country as we’re both from different places. We both liked Turkey so here we are!
If you would describe yourself as multi-cultural, tell us a bit about what culture you most identify with and why. If you have kids, what culture do they most associate with?
Well, I had a thoroughly English upbringing and never lived outside the UK until I was 19. However since then I’ve lived in several different countries and my husband is not British, so I suppose I identify less completely with English culture than before.
Now part of my family is Libyan and Italian and at the moment most of my day to day interactions are with Turks so of course that alters the way I see the world and behave with other people.
I’m curious to see which cultures our daughter will associate with. She hears English, Italian and Turkish on a daily basis and since we joined a couple of international playgroups she already has friends from many different nationalities.
Can you describe a typical day for you?
Well, since I have a 4 month old baby this answer would have been very different a year ago! For the last few years, I worked from home doing freelance consulting as well as running PocketCultures so I used to spend hours every day in front of the computer.
These days I normally get up sometime between 6 and 8am, feed the baby and have breakfast with my husband. Then whilst the baby naps I catch up on what’s going on with PocketCultures. Later either I take the baby for a walk outside, or we meet neighbours or friends for coffee or join in a playgroup. To get to the town centre from where we live I have to take a dolmuş (shared taxi) and then a tram so I don’t go very often. But our neighbours often organise meetups at home and I sometimes meet friends in a nearby shopping centre.
After the baby goes to bed in the evening I have dinner with my husband, do some chores and hopefully get time to read for a while.
What language or languages do you use on a day to day basis?
English at home, Turkish everywhere else. We also have some Italian and French-speaking friends so I use those languages quite often too.
What is the best part of living in your country? The worst?
Nobody is going to believe this but I really miss English food. Having said that Turkish food is pretty good too. The worst thing about England is the weather and the lack of intercultural awareness.
The best part of living in Turkey is the people – they are extremely friendly and welcoming and in general tolerant and flexible. For me the hardest thing is having to negotiate frequently. I’m not used to it and so I find it hard to get into the ‘game’ sometimes.
Describe a favourite typical meal from your country
The most typical English meal has to be the roast dinner, or ‘Sunday roast’ (because it’s traditional to eat it for lunch on Sunday). It consists of roast meat, which could be beef, lamb, pork or chicken, accompanied by potatoes and lots of vegetables. We eat the meal with gravy, a kind of sauce made from the meat juice. There are also various accompaniments depending on the type of meat, for example mint sauce for lamb, horseradish sauce for beef.
What’s something that visitors are often surprised by when getting to know your country/culture?
How cold English houses are. Despite the cold climate we use the heating as little as possible. Plus many houses are old and not well insulated, so they can be quite cold. We are used to it though.
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