6 'Awkward' Moments at Ataturk Airport, Istanbul, Turkey

November 25, 2016

Yes, as some of you already know, I am in Malaysia right now. You will not see my visit from Czech Republic for a while on your blog's live.feedjit widget. :D

Gonna spend about a month doing elective in a hospital here. It's going to be hard (maybe) as I am doing alone. Pray that I can go through every single day with calmness and ease. :)

Again, this time, my homebound journey is by Turkish Airlines via Istanbul. I love this city, honestly but I don't fancy much the airport. Maybe I've set a bench mark of Dubai as my favourite airport for now (despite it's so busy as well). Even though it was my 5th time transit in this airport, I still don't have ideas what should I do here. I've been to almost every inch of public area, walk from gates to gates, I don't know what else to explore.

And the free 2 hours WiFi over a week. Hmmm. Man, I have at least 4 hours to kill here. 

I landed Ataturk airport on Wednesday at noon. No security control, no passport control needed - I went straight to connecting flights. Planned to perform prayers, here was the first awkward moment for me. 

Can I have that tissues, please?

I went to the ablution room, it was not that big. The first thing I did was to take the tissue from the machine, well I don't want to let my socks wet and smelly. Use tissues to wipe the feet before putting the socks on. When I was literally collecting tissues from the machine with hand sensor, I already took about 4-5 layers of tissues. Suddenly, a lady came to me and ask, 'can I have that tissues, please?'

It was seriously awkward for me.

Like, why? 

Prayers time.

The frame that show list of prayer times was not working. I had no idea if Zuhur was already over or not. I didn't know should I do jamak takhir or jamak takdim. There were some lady in the prayer room as well, but they couldn't speak English. 

The only thing I ask with appropriate hand gesture was...

"Zuhur..?" "Asar?..."

Awkward, but luckily she understood. She said "Zuhur. Asar no."

"I'm sorry, but your transit time is only 4 hours and half."

And I need only 30 minutes more to be eligible for free meal voucher. HAHA. I would love to persuade him to just give me the voucher, but.... it was a bit awkward.

Told ya, I was so boring that I walked around the airport with my hand luggage and backpack. Gigih sangat. Expecting to meet some Malaysians but I couldn't see any. Wow, that was weird. 

Walking around too much, I suddenly feel hungry again. I didn't want to spend € 10 just for a sandwich, so I tried my luck to ask the care point for any meal voucher. At the care point, there was some argument between a passenger and a worker. Not really sure what were they arguing about but it made the rest of us to wait in a long queue. And it's getting longer until a new counter need to be opened. Haha.

So, I didn't get any voucher. And I was hungry. 

I checked my backpack if I have any sweets. I totally forgot my friend prepared slices of bread with Nutella. Ya Allah, I feel so ashamed of myself T_T

Thank you Bainun :D

"But, I thought the book is only € 8?"

I went to a bookstore to see the book I've been eyeing since my previous transit. Yes, it's still there and I think I should buy it for my next 10hours' connecting flight from Istanbul to Kuala Lumpur (although I know I would sleep most of the time).

Decided to buy, I took the book to the counter. After scanning, the guy over the counter said 'the total is € 8.50" Eh eh, mana datang lagi € 0.50? "But, I thought the book is only € 8?"

The guy passed my transaction to a lady. Actually, I don't care much about that € 0.50 but duhhh the lady who's helping the guy (I guess he's a trainee) responded to me without answer. She even repeated how much the book costs with a rude face. I was not sure she originally looked like that or she got irritated when I re-asked about the extra € 0.50. 

At the end, she still didn't answer. Awkward silence. I just gave my card to be swiped and before leaving the store, I told her, "I'm sorry but please make sure you check the prices from time to time before putting price tags on the book"

I am so sorry to say this. But, at least answer me with something like "I am sorry but maybe there's something wrong with the system." A single sorry can soften someone's heart, remember that.

I learned from someone's experience when he accidentally payed about RM 50 for a bag from Mydin when it was actually cost RM 15! 

"Eh, I thought I have one hour more?"

That's my inner thought. 

Guess what, I was so nervous when I saw the flight schedules. I was supposed to be at the boarding gate about 18:05 (the flight was scheduled to take off at 19:05). At that time my phone's clock showed 17:05. Eh, why? I have one hour more, right?

Surprisingly, again I totally forgot Turkish Airlines sent emails so many times to inform me that Turkey decided not to follow daylight saving time (DST). The funny thing was, I set my phone's clock to auto-update based on the location since the day I bought it. It never failed to show the correct time. But, I think (maybe) Turkey's decision was quite sudden that the world clock didn't managed to update itself. :p

Seriously, the wall clock in Ataturk Airport showed 18:05 when it was 17:05 on my phone. T_T

What if I go to the gate at 18:05 (my phone's clock)?
Hahaha, I don't want to imagine that! Awkwardly terrifying!

So, moral here is be alert with the local time!

"Boarding completed"

The moment the cabin crew made this announcement, it simply means, they will not receive any upcoming passengers and they will close the door (from my understanding). 

I was quite shocked when I heard this announcement, then I looked around inside the plane, "there's still many empty seats?"

And yes, you can imagine how empty the plane was when we literally have a row per person to lie down comfortably, conquering 2-4 seats, 2-4 pillows, 2-4 blankets, 2-4 screens for EACH of us.

Awkwardly heaven.

p/s - Have you experience any awkward moments at the airport? 

SS, Perak, Malaysia

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