One thing, then another

August 12, 2014

Saturday. Market day in Dalyan. Most of it is aimed to tourists but in the middle, hidden was the vegetable market. One must buy fruits and vegetables there as the supermarket’s prices will kill you. Got tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, parsley ,peaches, pears and a couple of lemons. Dalyan is more expensive than Istanbul when it comes to basic living and if I am to save money, parsimony is going to be the law.

***

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I think of my friends today. I was peering through pictures from 2010 on, since I don’t have any photos from before that, I saw Forrest’s smile and I cried. I saw Asbjorn being silly with his chef’s hat on and I cried again. I saw photos of myself and I wondered who was that… who’s this woman? I seem to change face with the places I live at. These last few mornings, maybe it’s because of the heat… but each morning the puffy face staring back at me in the mirror scared me.

***

And where am I? Dalyan…. Seems I am in a dream… It is definitely beautiful. Seeing nature is a major shock after more than a year on the cobblestones of Istanbul. The greens, they are… unreal. the air… the earth, soil being so close to my feet… Yesterday on the boat going to the sea, looking at the hills, at the reeds growing so tall, dancing with the wind…feeling the wind… It all felt alien, strange, yes, again: dreamlike. Am I waking up after a long dream, or, falling in a deep, deep, surreal dream. Push and pull of ideas, sensations and feelings.

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***

Moons. Every night, filling up, rounder and rounder. Coloring itself with fire. I watch her from the terrasse after the gig. It’s one AM and there is still so much noise. Maybe at some point, I will want the lone vastness of North America. Be in places where when you turn off the engine and an immense silence surrounds you. Maybe it is that I will welcome frost and snow and blustering winds after all this heat. The disappearance of the horizon as the sky and snow line blends perfectly. Not in a big city though. I hate winter in the city it is a slushy, calcium infested hell.

***

Not hanging on to anything. I had a bit of a fit yesterday and I was quietly reminded, with few words, that I should just be happy. I said: “but… I miss…” my hands reaching into empty space… the reply was “you are on earth, I am on earth, so, we’re in the same place.” With those words my mind, my viewpoint were instantly swirled into a much broader, wider, far sighted point of view. Oh haow I can get blind. That made everything much closer to me. OK. I get it. I am not lost… Like Maryam telling me that she was watching the same moon as I was. So we are together. Yes… my friends are much wiser than I am…

***

Yesterday I saw something I cannot accept. No matter what… I’ve commented many times on the cruelty…. it’s 30 degrees or more outside and these women walk with scarves, long dresses, pants, this covered with an overcoat and usually the feet are also covered with socks and full shoes. Next to them, walks their husbands, wearing shorts, t-shirts and sandals.

“How can they do it?” I asked Orçun.

“For God…” and then for a moment I saw it. The piety. The love and submission to God… But yesterday I was at the beach, we’re mostly foreigners sporting many states of undress, from shorts to tiny bikinis. Then they came. Walked by us. Three women, a little girl and two men. The men wearing shorts and sandals. The women… well, they were packaged into a sort of stylish nylon sport over clothes; long pants, jacket and head scarves. Nylon. NYLON!!! Like the stuff you put on after a cold fall workout… to keep the warmth in. Or maybe I am wrong, maybe it is fancy GoreTex… nevertheless. It’s fucking 100 degrees on the beach. There is a magnificent wind… The men go for a swim, tanned,looking like they swim and feel the sun regularly. The women sat under the umbrella modest, resigned in a dignified way then… they started to eat.

I could not keep my eyes off. I wondered how her skin felt under this clothing. I see the outline of a wide bra that is a bit too tight, the flesh expanding slightly from the elastic borders, it looks restrictive. It makes my breathing hard. Imagine the sweating. They started to get the little girl ready for a swim. She might be 7 or so. They put a bikini top on her, her tan marks reveal that she’s been in the sun before… I guess those will be memories for her to hang onto when she becomes “a woman” and has to cover herself at all times and places to show her devotion to God and to protect herself, her dignity and family’s honor from the men who are supposedly too horny to control themselves. But that protection is a lie. It has been observed that since this conservative government has taken power in Turkey violence against women has soared out of control. There are more murdered women in Turkey than ever before “Turkey is one of the world’s worst countries to be a woman. Between 2002 and 2009, the murder rate of women skyrocketed by 1,400 percent. Yeehaw.

Like what happened with the prohibition of alcohol, if you make something sinful, remove it from the realm of the normalcy a mad craving ensues. Like putting oneself on a diet and suddenly there is chocolate in sight everywhere.

Here is a photo of one of these “swimsuits”. Tailored, stylish, a show of humility, conservatism and dignity. Fuck that.

islamic-swimsuit-for-women-alsharifa-grape

I will never agree.

I was raised on the mantra of woman’s self reliance, independence, strength, power of decision for what concerns her, her body, her life. Self determinism. I see this bathing suit as an act of domination, and more pointedly, of actual hatred towards women. Yes, hatred. The men subjugating the women to this extreme, making them suffer every minute of their lives, emprisoning them in these clothes, making them disappear from the world. To wrap someone in a sweat suit in the 30 C plus degree heat and put then on a beach is actual torture.

This is the sort of thing that wears me out. I was raised in the complet polar opposite philosophy. I was raised seeing myself as a human being, of course there is still a fight to carry regarding equality of the sexes but in front of the law and the society, I am a full human being. I can dream whatever I want. Aim for whatever I desire. Being a man in Turkey would be awesome. All the travelers, male travelers, keep saying how incredible it is… I have wondered countless times how I would have fared if I had been born on this side of the globe. Would I just take it? Would my spirit rebel? Or would I just walk along the dotted line.

****

I walked back last night after the gig. There is a cooling breeze. Nihan is leaving tomorrow, the gay young couple left tonight, Sinan and Juan are leaving in the morning. Here, like in Istanbul, people come… and leave. Rebeca said she was looking to put roots in the ground, she was tired of constantly lifting the anchor to get to yet another place. Nihan asked me yesterday what I was going to do after this job.

“I don’t know” I said.

“You want to put down roots?”

“I don’t know, sometimes yes, sometimes no.

This morning, I slept through Juan and Sinan’s departure, they were staying at the appartment, they are hitch hiking their way back to Istanbul to vote on Sunday. I found a note from Juan, written on a piece of cardboard, that came from a sign they had written for “Kaş”. In a purple he wrote “goodbye beautiful copaine, we are returning to the road and the winds… for a moment I envied their fate of roads and winds. I know that feeling of road and winds. I know the aliveness of it. Now I am working. That is why I came here.

After?

Roads and winds? I don’t know. I wish I did.

***

played the fourth night. It was a bit of a weird night for me. We are situated in a bit of street where 4,5 bars compete for customers with sound, loud volume music of all sorts… no one stopped… I made mistakes on the first song, couldn’t quite find my groove. It’s hard to play when no one listens. It’s hard to choose what to play, there is nothing to build on. At one point a little girl seemed mesmerized. I’ve noticed a few times how little girls stop to watch with great intensity. Little ones of around 9 years old, big eyed and long haired and sweet looking. The family came inside, she sat right next to me… at the end of the song I talked to her, she was super shy… They left a bit later.

I took a break at 11 when I was about to go back Neco said: forget it. So I sat with them, met new people, a woman painter and a musician. It was nice. I will make some friends. I realize I feel a bit out of sorts… much Turkish spoken and I drift into space… I will learn.. I will learn…

***

Sunday elections day… we take a surprise trip to a village… I am transported into another world. another face of Turkey. in a village… friends meet, they are so beautiful. We eat hand made, organic food… it’s incredible. the vibe, the moon is full. No one frets about the election… they know what will happen and let it be.

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on the way there, Neco and Selda

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the village from the distance

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crazy house cat

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kırmızı biber

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the feast

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on the way out

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this too was like a dream. Cows, chickens, the full moon over us. I drank raki and had to sleep it was too much for me. I laid in a hammock for a while, the full moon above. then I went inside the old homestead which felt so full of human lives… it was so gorgeous. a place you’d think you could disappear into. Make a garden, watch the seasons pass by. If you had friends it wouldn’t be a bad deal.

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One Response to “One thing, then another”


  1. Haven’t checked yet, but I see a message came through. Was on stage with Skype off, will get back to you tomorrow, crashing now.

    Thanks for the call, keeping you in mind. Davidian.

    Sent from my iPad

    >


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