Yoga Food & Travel Rotating Header Image

People are horny

Yes, I thought that would get your attention.

After spending many years in Istanbul, it occurred to me the other day that I have, in addition to learning a fair bit of Turkish, learned to speak “horn,” and here’s where this blog entry has potential to digress in a totally different direction!

What I mean when I say that people are horny, is that if you have ever lived in a city of 15 million people (give or take 5 million), you will agree that people use horns to communicate in all sorts of ways…based on my experience and observations while in an overcrowded city, I have put together a brief “Horn to English” dictionary… Enjoy!

Each category of vehicle has it’s own language so I shall separate them by class of transport. I will describe the action being emitted from the vehicle and follow it with what it is trying to communicate.

Taxis looking for customers:
Half a honk – hey! I’m a taxi!
One short honk – I see you walking and I could drive you where you want to go
Two short honks – really, I see you and I’m available
Two short followed by a double flash of the headlights – seriously, I know there are a thousand other taxis out here and you are still walking, so I can only assume that you haven’t found the right one… I’m your guy!
Three short but rapid honks – I’m fast, jump in and I will get you there in record time!

Taxis with customers:
Half a honk – watch out, I’m on a run, I can’t stop once I’ve started
One full honk – I’m a taxi and you’re a human crossing the road, you’re like a pigeon to me, either you get out of the way or I will run your a*s over… I’m not stopping!
One full honk at an intersection – I’m moving faster than you and if you can see the lack of concern in my eyes you will know…. I’m not going to stop, yield, or slow down!
One long honk – I was here first!
Two long honks, holding on the second – are you fuc**n’ kidding me!? Who parallel parks on a busy street at 6pm on a weeknight?!!!
One long honk AND HOLD – I don’t know what you 150 cars in front of me are stopped for… But if you can hear this, you will obviously take note of my urgent request and MOVE IT!!!!!
Two long honks AND HOLD – obviously you didn’t hear the first one…. Here’s another!!!!!!!

Regular cars (just average people driving around)
One short honk – hey!
One short honk followed by responding short honk – hey! hey back!
Two quick honks – hey you look good! Any chance that you would be attracted to a man that speeds past and acknowledges your beauty with the toot of a horn?

Well, these are just few of my horny experiences in a city of 18 million… I hope this entry has been informative and has satisfied you in some way:))

By the way, while writing this blog I have counted close to 40, wait… 41 honks!!!



  1. Margot says:

    Was a good laugh!
    Hope I keep on laughing, as I will be driving in Istanbul traffic just after this comment!

  2. Elif says:

    Hah!!Love that! How come you see everything from such a different angle! 🙂

  3. Ana-Maria says:

    LOL – I think we had the same experience just in another part of the world – I lived in San Jose, Costa Rica for 6 months and as a pedestrian – I learned all the intricate language of honking in the city – I only wished I had recorded but I think it went a little like yours! 🙂

  4. eylem says:

    incredable observation and articulation of it in the most simple possible way.. you seem to have discovered a new language and so sweetly accurate in your translation of it! Loved it!! thanks for sharing… lol.

  5. yogafoodtravel says:

    Yes, now that I have penetrated a deeper level of understanding of this primitive, yet relatively new language, I am hearing it everywhere… cars, taxis, boats, scooters, and yes… even bicycles!!!