Sunday’s are no longer a day of quiet leisure and relaxing with my secret pleasures of ‘The OC’ and ‘One Tree Hill.’ In lieu of catching the only work shuttle to the Hurriyet Media Tower where I wile my days away trapped on the top floor like the princess I used to imagine I was, I have been utilizing the local transportation that is available to me at a very low cost. Last Sunday, the local mini-bus was quite a creepy experience, especially when two Mullahs got on board and I was the only woman on the bus for the longest time, red coat and all. Visions of Little Red Riding Hood were going through my head, instead of just one wolf there were many, them looking very fundamental and me looking very heathen, if you catch my drift.
Today, I braved the mini-bus again so I could have a little sleep in since no one gets to work until 11am on Sundays anyway (for some reason, the work shuttle, should I choose to accept it, leaves my village at 830am…). Well, today there were no Mullahs on the bus. Whew. But since I was the last one to get off the bus, the bus driver didn’t want to let me go. Yes, indeed. He was refusing to open the door and let me off the bus. He just kept driving as I continued to shout ‘Inecek var!’ “Let me off!” He continued to babble in Turkish to me and I guess figured out that I didn’t understand a fool word he said. Eventually, he did let me off, Thank You Guardian Angel. But Good Lord in Heaven. That was a nightmare waiting to happen. Imagine: there is no one around for miles in this industrial wasteland where I work. He could have driven off with me and that would have been that. And, the thing was, the moment he realised that I don’t speak Turkish was the moment he felt he could just drive off with me. Heathen in a red coat and braids. I still feel sick about this. I think I’m in shock. It was the ultimate situation that women’s defense classes warn about: don’t get stuck alone in the middle of nowhere. God.
And then, adding insult to injury, the security guards at the Tower wouldn’t let me in either! Wow. Sinister, man. I had to get a security escort into the building. Enraged, frightened, shaking. There will be hell to pay in my tummy later for all the morning’s adrenaline.
So, I think I will just suck it up and take the 830 shuttle to work on Sunday mornings to avoid any more of these grotesquely frightening situations. Apparently, after recounting the almost-kidnap situation to my work colleagues much to their shock and awe, I found out that the neighborhoods surrounding the Tower are very religious and conservative. Hm. No wonder I was so unnerved even last week. I just couldn’t put my finger on why exactly.
Oh Istanbul. I am finding more and more reasons why I will be happy to leave you. Get thee behind me, foul place of muck and dishonor. Your streets are decrepit, disappearing aliveness leaving behind mere scraps of red cloth, soon turning as gray as the landscape. You are no place for life, for color. You are an emaciated vampire, curled in a corner feeding on the blood of rats and cockroaches, the last dusts of smashed dreams and glorious empires. Your skeletal remains are menacing and there remains power in your dank clutches. May Mother Earth swallow your unnatural existence and rid the world of your stain on her face.
May I be filled with the light that will protect me, leave me unscathed, unscarred by your undead grasp.