If there's one thing Turkish neighbors are known for, it's gossip. This is particularly true of the residents of my neighborhood, which despite its march toward gentrification (of which I am the grand marshall), still has a lot of "village people." This means that there are a lot of recent immigrants from the Anatolian hinterlands that have brought their tight-knit, clan-based lifestyle -- and frequently, their livestock -- with them to the big city.
Walk through my neighborhood and look up at the apartment windows facing the street and you'll see a pillow or blanket on every windowsill. Those are to prevent bruises on the forearms and elbows of the housewives who spend large portions of every day leaning on the sill, watching and commenting upon everything that goes on below.
I am pretty certain that I am the target of much local gossip, but one of the advantages of not learning Turkish is not knowing what they're saying. I have a pretty good idea of the main talking points, however.
Because I am a legitimate Turkish neighbor, I have the right to gossip, even if I do not yet know the "mish" tense. If English had a mish tense (and why doesn't it?) I would be using it right now.
At the end of my street, there is a storefront moving company. In the office sit four or five guys in well-trimmed, long Islamic-style beards. With their knit skull caps and shalwar, they stand out more than me in this 'hood. Boy, do these guys ever give me the stink eye when I walk by with the carpetDOGs, sometimes with a bottle of wine, sometimes with a male who is not related to me, sometimes with all four! I bet I am jihad target numero-uno.
I pointed them out the other day to Bentonator, one of the many males who are not related to me with whom I frequently -- whorishly! -- walk. Bentonator used to live in Herat and one time showed up a bride at her wedding by wearing a sparkly white shalwar.
Carpetblogger: "Those dudes sit there all day. They have a moving truck and a moving company but I've never seen them move anything or move anywhere except across the street to the lokanta."
Bentonator: "Those dudes are Afghans. I have a cloak that looks just like the one that guy is wearing."
Carpetblogger: "Wow. Crazy Afghans in my neighborhood. I wonder why they are here and why they have a moving company."
Bentonator: Uh, duh.
Carpetblogger: Huh? Oh. Oh!
Those are the only neighbors I know well enough to gossip about. My neighbors may have the mish tense but I bet they don't have influential blogs read by tens of people.