Sunday 15 May 2011

The invasive Turkish Man

It would seem although Turks in both modern and ancient times had their vices, there was only pleasure through pain. Take for example the cut throat shave I had after stepping off the plane yesterday morning. We went through the usual story of lathering my face in soap and using a fresh razor blade to make my face as good as new. Then however he moved on to "the pwablem the pwablem" which of course was my ears. Not paying particular attention to ones ears I wasn't to know they were particularly hairy, not only that but apparently this does not sit well with the Turkish barbers. Alas he set about destroying my ear hair population. First came the burning wad of cotton to singe the hairs followed by indiscriminate twezering. Hugh respect ladies for twezering anything. OUCH. Back to the burning then to cap off the whole ordeal he patted my face with a towel soaked in freshly boiled water just because he had not seen me squirm enough by that stage. Boy was I beautiful. That was a day ago so you cant tell I was there anymore but for the burnt ears.
Today my quest for bodily destruction took me to the baths, an experience any person must undertake at least once in their lives. I had the pleasure of sweating in a sauna before being man handled by a very firm Turkish man. Bald and in his late 50s he knew his stuff, pouring warm water over my dirty body before exfoliating the crap out of me with a salmon luffa. Now all soapy and slippery it was time for a massage. Holy shit!! I felt like I had just emerged from the bottom of a ruck where I didn't let the ball go. Again, the concept of pleasure through pain. Back to the sauna, another rinse and a good ol toweling dry that even sooty the dog would be happy with and I was on my way, clean as a whistle.

Ayasofia, the blue mosque and of course the Grand Bazzar were all incredible and it would seem a few words that came back to me after a previous visit to Turkey come in very handy. No, Yes, Too Expensive, Thank you, New Zealand were all valuable. In the moment the salesman pounces on the tourist you throw out a Turkish word or phrase. In the ensuing second it takes him to realise what just happend you are scuttling away feeling very pleased with yourself. This was all good and fine until Omar caught me off guard. Pleading with me to stop and chat he promised he just wanted to have a chat. There was something about the way he said it that made me stop. Omar, in the Grand Bazzar of Istanbul, wanted to bargin with me over the selling price of my earing. For those of you who haven't seen it, its a wooden hoop. Amazing, we chatted for a while, and after a glass of apple tea I went on my way with my earing still firmly attached to my ear although he was offering a reasonable price.

Tommorow morning I will take my leave from this bustling city and head North then East towards the coast of the Black sea. I have as yet not found any white gas or meths for my stove so it looks like it will be petrol or diesel for the burner, fortunately I had no issues with the burner or gas bottle or the bike for that matter through the airports.

I feel clean and smooth and ready to take on the hundreds of cars on my way out of here. We will see how it goes. Doris looks good to go, she has a Tiki under her Garter so what else could she possibly need to take on Eastern Europe.


  1. I love your description of the shave, the ears and the sauna. Take care, Ang.

  2. I am laughing at the earing. Hold onto it. I also laughed at a visual I had of you being scrubbed down. xx Linds