In the fine old tradition of ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ I’d like to introduce my first guest blogger – clever, courageous Karyn from Kirazli. Vetpat Karyn lives in a traditional Turkish village about 10 kms from Kuşadası. She describes her arcadian idyll as ‘surrounded by flowering fields of cherry trees, figs, vines and olives. The village is a traditional Turkish Koy of narrow twisting streets, stone and whitewashed houses and terracotta roofs. Cooled by fragrant pine scented breezes Kirazli is a world away from the hot and bustling tourist centres of the coastal strip’. Sounds like a lot of old fragrant flannel to me so Liam and I will just have to check it out and dish the dirt. Take a look at Karyn’s own blog Being Koy. It a class act. In the meantime, here’s her provocatively unkoy take on the plight of a woman alone in Turkey. Enjoy.
I am immune to the charms of Mediterranean men, I grew up on the Costa Del Sol and after a brief bout at thirteen with the virus that is the Spanish Waiter I developed a life long immunity to all those sons of the southern lands who flash dark eyes and mutter unlikely compliments in clichéd accents.
Of course this doesn’t stop them hitting on me, any time, any place, anywhere; because Turkish men in the tourist resorts are the Martini boys of love.
Hyped up on exaggerated tales told in tea houses across the hinterland through the dark days of winter the men who flock to the resorts for work in the season are brainwashed into believing that western women are not only very rich and bang like barn doors but are blind and have no sense of smell, so even blokes who look like the back end of a goat and smell similar are in with a chance.
Of course there is a grain of hope in their dreaming, and every summer season will throw up a friend of a friend who swept a British woman off her feet in nanoseconds and landed a life of luxury and indolence in return for climbing on top and thinking of Turkey.
This all makes life difficult for me and those of my expat sisters who really aren’t interested; nobody minds a mild flirtation, sexual attraction makes the world go round, but there is a time and a place for everything and the Turkish Lothario has boundary issues.
Top marks for inappropriate timing likely to get you at the very least a broken jaw go to Salatin, a taxi driver with broken English and a manic gleam in his eye. He propositioned me on the drive to the airport when I was flying my husband’s remains home for the funeral. He really wanted a British wife; I really wanted his gonads crushed beneath my boots.
Top marks for seizing the moment go to the Manager of Burger King in Kusadasi who managed to fit a sleazy come on into the two seconds it took me to order a meal. “You want to go large?” he leered at me whilst stroking his groin suggestively. I picked up a limp French fry and peered at it; it drooped pathetically between my fingers. I looked at him; I maintained deadpan eye contact until he withered noticeably and slithered off.
Top marks for trying to cop a feel at any opportunity go to the noxious and extremely short market trader who, when my friend agreed to buy a pair of jeans, showed his delight by grabbing me and rapidly groping all he could reach. A heavy stamp with a finely engineered Kurt Geiger heel onto his bare toes sent him limping away.
It seems the only place to avoid unwelcome advances is my village. Here the older men nod respectfully at me and the young men politely step out of my way with murmured greetings. It couldn’t be any other way in the village, disrespect me and my male neighbours will be compelled to hurt you and my female neighbours, who are infinitely more imaginative, will find ways to make your life a living hell for the next fifty years!
Obviously the only thing they talk about in the tea shops here are how ripe the grapes are, not how ripe are the yabanci women. I am very grateful for that.