Expatria · Istanbul · Spirituality · Travel

friday, i'm in love

friday is sunday in muslim countries. it is the holy day, mosque day, but in istanbul, unlike more radical muslim countries, life goes on more or less as usual. there is just no work. it is very quiet and the workers in the lot in front are off today. how nice! fridays are such a great day and here they are quiet days. in fact, i could begin to love fridays again. it is a different way to think about them. not a party get all out drunk day, but a day of prayer and rest. oddly, when i hear them calling the prayers throughout the day, part of me feels like stopping what i am doing and praying with them. to me, prayer is prayer is prayer. a muslim may not like it if someone like me who believes but not in one thing specifically, i.e. a witch, prays during their prayer time, but who’s gonna know? don’t breathe a word…

we went for a walk through the bustling shopping district we live in for the moment, Bakirkoy, down to the Bosphorus Strait. we saw two strip clubs! i couln’t beleive it! in a muslim country and on a main road! the clothing shops were eerily like andalusian shops, with incredibly slutty women’s clothes. it’s kind of eerie to see women in head scarves looking at lycra tube tops and skimpy dresses. do they wear them at home? it is another mystery. down by the water i felt my first pang of istanbul’s magic. there is most definitely something about the Bosphorus, and i wish there were houseboats. the downside of istanbul for me so far is that even though it is very hot, there is an exceedingly strong wind that blows at all time. most people love this about the city, but strong winds wake up my ear problems and i find it more uncomfortable than just sweating and sweating, actually. i will be forced to wear a headscarf to keep the wind from my ears! tee hee! steve says i look like a gypsy woman and i noticed that gypsy women tie their scarves at the nape of their neck while muslim women tie their headscarves under their chin. i had never noticed the difference before and it is a subtle one. i have gypsy roots anyway so am quite proud to wear my headscarf like a gypsy.

istanbul is a city of paradoxes and contradictions. donnie darko would be fascinated. the one thing i have not seen much of are tattooed women, and so i have been keeping my many under cotton wraps. call me a prude but i don’t think i will ever feel comfortable with tank tops and short skirts in muslim countries, i don’t care how progressive they are and how many other women are doing it. it feels dangerous and anyway, my body is mine. i am tired of the tattoo gawking, the questions and the grabbing, as if freaks are not people and can be treated like objects in a zoo to be poked and prodded at will.

in the kitchen, i tried my hand at sugar-free baklava, which didn’t quite work out as i have to work out the consistency of substituting honey for sugar. we gorged on the semi-watery overly-honeyed baklava and now have no room for dinner! good stuff, that! and, i continue feeding the Stray Cats below our balcony. the kids eat but Mama Cat keeps talking to me and i can’t for the life of me figure out what she wants. i put out milk but she won’t come and get it, she won’t eat cookies, or chicken. i may try baklava, next. there is too much for just us.

do you have time to pop in and try some?


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