Expatria · Istanbul · Movies · Spain · Travel

pirates, princesas, and we are not in kansas anymore

after quite a grueling two days in madrid in which my ear infection compounded by a hundred after the freezing cold ride on the granada-madrid bus, we have made it to istanbul. madrid would have been a nice layover if i had not been so wretchedly ill, but we did get to see two very interesting and noteworthy things while we were there.

the first was ‘pirates of the carribbean’ part deux, which i was probably too excited about seeing. johnny depp, as usual, was excellent and one of the drawbacks of the film was that there was simply not enough of jack sparrow. orlando bloom has failed to impress me in any of his work since ‘lord of the rings’ as he does not seem to be challenging himself at all and is taking the brad pitt pretty boy route instead of the johnny depp wild crazy route. kiera knightly has moments of being a great actress, i heard she was wonderful in ‘pride and predjudice’ as well as ‘domino’ so i will reserve comments about her for another time. i also felt that the entire part of ‘pirates’ that involved jack sparrow being a god to a group of tribal peoples could have simply been cut as it was quite a racist portrayal of indigenous people and added close to nothing to the movement of the plot. i found it to be a superflouous pseudo-attack on tribal people as cannibalistic barbarians and was not appropriate in the least. pirates have always been the barbarians, not tribal peoples. but after that 30 minute leap into star warsian racism, the film continued on its right path back to the pirates ride in disneyland, on which it is based, into the smoky bayou to introduce a fascinating new character. all in all, it was quite a good film and mr. depp was his usual marvelous self. i do think it is one of those must-sees. if nothing else, it is a lot of fun. i would recommend going to get some candy or take a dump during the part with the native people, i would have liked the film a lot better if i had simply not seen that.

on our way to the movie we passed a street of madrid that is lined with prostitutes instead of trees. i had seen a spanish film called ‘princessas’ which was about the life of two madrilena prostitutes, one spanish and the other dominican. it was amazing how accurate the film was and no wonder it won all those awards. the women dress not like american prostitutes at all, but in skirts and normal tops. the thing that gives them away are first their shoes, which are these spanish style platforms, but very thin and cheap looking, and the fact that the stand in one place trying to look like they are waiting for someone. i suppose they are waiting for someone. many of the women looked eastern european, and some of the girls were extremely young. when i was watching ‘princessas’ one thing that confused me was how normal the prostitutes dressed. well, normal in the sense of the ho-ville i used to live in both in sevilla and granada where it would be a common mistake for me to think high school girls were hookers as they walked around virtually naked. yuck. but the portrayal of the women in ‘princessas’ was extremely accurate, so accurate i was fascinated and after ‘pirates’ we took in another show, so to speak. we had dinner in a place that seemed to be a waiting spot for men to check out the prostitutes and decide which they would approach. we saw many ‘blancos,’ the spanish slang for ‘johns’, make their move and walk away with the puta. not with her, about 10 paces behind her so as to fool the police who were standing around watching what was going on without doing anything. one woman left with three men. that was when i started to feel sick and my dinner started gurgling meanly in my tummy. there was something sickly fascinating about the entire process. the waiting women, the old fat ugly men who would approach them, or in turn the very young arab men who would walk away with them, then the return of the prostitutes 30 minutes later. i heard that many of these women do not have sex on a regular basis, it is blow jobs and hand jobs, but FUCK man. it was intensely horrifying and i hope that every man that goes to a prostitute comes down with a horrible dick disease. i think it should be mandatory. and how young the girls were! sick sick sick society we live in with disgusting pigs that masquerade as men. i will leave this for a moment, it has made a mark so you will hear about it again i am sure.

so, returning to the present….i have just a few minutes before our guide comes to get us to show us a bit of istanbul. we arrived quite late last night after two horrible flights. my ears are devastated and i repeat, thank God for the doctor’s appointment steve’s new school made for me tomorrow. olympic airlines is the worst airline in the world, do not ever fly it. our second flight was like a toy airplane and i thought at any moment the hand guiding us would let go and we would plummet into the ocean. steve’s school has hired a guide for all the new teachers to help us get to know the city, learn a bit of turkish and familiarise ourselves with our new home, which is very thoughtful and quite an asian thing to do. but on the flip side, our flat is also quite asian. i had been under the impression that turkey had made lots of advances in terms of living conditions and the like, and this is when i realised we were not in spain anymore and i was back home in asia. there is an open drain bigger than a donut in the bathroom that smells of sewage. need i say more. if we were in india or sri lanka, i would not be surprised. but for a country trying to get into the EU, well, maybe there is a reason they have not entered into it as of yet. also, i should be accustomed to walking around big groups of men as in spain they have much of the same cultural behaviour as muslim countries, large groups of well-groomed men standing around and gawking. so i felt a very familiar threat to what i was used to. but, it feels different here. there is a mix of women in head scarves and in western dress, but i can feel how much more dangerous it is for the women in short skirts and tank tops. i think maybe prostitutes dress far more ‘typically’ to the stereotype here than they do in spain. there is something in the air that frightens me and i will not feel comfortable for a while walking around alone. hell, i didn’t feel comfortable or safe in spain either and at least here i have brown skin and could be a turkish girl maybe so i think it will be okay.

this was a long one! there was so much that happened over the last two days. granada is looking just peachy to me right now, but i also know that i hated it there and i miss the very things i expected. speaking in spanish being the top one. that was very special, but it will be dormant for a while and will have its moment soon enough i am sure. off to eat some more yummy turkish food now, but will be back to regale you with more tales of our new turkish adventures, or misadventures as they may be.

Thoughts?

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