Name: Halil Özkal (27)
Degree programme: Medical student on clinical rotation
Type of reviews: Locations on Google Maps (403 reviews, local guide level 5)
I’m often sitting on the couch with my wife, watching those mindless programmes on TLC like Say Yes to the Dress and Sister Wives. At one point I thought: rather than slowly killing off my brain cells, I could also rate places I’ve been on Google Maps. It’s become something of a habit.
First all I did was add stars; later on, I starting adding text too. I can easily rack up 10 reviews during one of those 30-minute programmes. And say you do it once a week, you get 403 reviews in no time. It all started with a restaurant that I visited with friends. It was incredibly shitty: we arrived with a Groupon coupon, and I noticed straight away that they didn’t really want us there. They gave us a free pot of tea, but we had to pay for every extra glass. We said to each other: if we review this place on Google, future customers will know what’s up, so they can avoid it.
I do a lot of reviews, but I don’t review everything. For example, in our neighbourhood, there’s this little statue up on the wall – art, apparently. Google suggests discussing it. Not interested. I do get interested when it’s a bit more expensive. Like the dildo gnome on Eendrachtsplein, because that’s funny. I take a picture and add something in English. What’s more: I’ve started to enjoy shopping in the centre. Previously, I stood around waiting for my wife; now she’s waiting for me.