The other day I was having a conversation with some male colleagues. They were asking about the dress code at work. For women, the rule is–if you wear pants, you need to wear a long jacket, or a tunic. They weren’t sure of the point. Why a jacket or a tunic with pants and not skirts?
That is when I had to point out the obvious. Pants enhance and showcase the posterior more so than a skirt. That posterior would otherwise be known as “Junk in the Trunk” or the “Badonkadonk.” Not to create a stereotype, but as my husband says, the women of Turkey have a different chassis. The general figure here is more curvaceous than the general Anglo build. (I stress general in both cases as there are always differences within any population group.)
When I started dating my husband and I asked him how he liked my figure. He told me I had a cute “American behind.” I did not quite know how to interpret that. When I moved to Turkey I realized that “American behind” was code for tiny heiny. After I moved here and tried to buy pants I found I had to get them to tailored. They had to take out the extra fabric at the hips and behind. Thank goodness tailoring is inexpensive.
There is a term here called “balik etli.” Literally translated it means something like “with fish meat.” The actually meaning is plump, or full figured but with a positive connotation. Here women with a little meat on their bones are considered sexier than thinner women. One way to see this is the translation of thin. In Turkish thin translates as “zayif,” but it also means weak or poor. That the word for thin actually means something else with a negative connotation is very telling. When people, particularly women and children are slender they are often seen as being sickly, weak or potentially ill. Last spring, when I lost a few pounds for my wedding I was chastised quite often about my weight. I was told I needed to eat more, and gain weight. I was practically force fed at family dinners.
I have to say it is nice to live in a culture where I could gain ten pounds and be considered more attractive. While it is good to eat healthy, it is nice to know the focus is on health and not weight. It is lovely to be relieved of some the pressure and internal guilt about food and weight that is so stressed in American society. I suppose for that, I am willing to wear a jacket to cover my non-exist behind.
I am in an Internet cafe that has some air conditioning and funtional keyboards. However, the pièce de résistance is a bathroom with a LOCK, a toilet with a SEAT, and toilet PAPER!!!!! It is like I won the lottery—by having my laptop stolen. I will be a more active blogger soon, I promise. I am finishing up a TESOL certificate and am lesson planning my behind off. The present perfect tense and I are now intimate. When it is done I will have a lot more time.
I am having Potty-ish. As many readers know (all 5) I no longer have a laptop and have been spending copious amounts of time in Internet cafes. While this has made me appreciate my laptop even more than İ already did–İt has also caused me to ponder the bathroom.
I know the correlation is weak, Internet and toılets, but hear me out. The Internet cafe we patronize has the most functional keyboards and stronger air conditioning than any of the others in town. However, as İ found out the other day, it is sorely lacking in the bathroom department. As has already been over shared–İ have İBS. This means sometimes İ have to USE the bathroom in less than a dainty way. İ have already learned to overcome many challenges, such as the shame of using the bathroom several times–or the FEAR that İ might be overheard. Fuck it. İ know everyone does the same thing—maybe not as frequently, but that just means İ am better at it for having more practice! However the gross-out factor is not one İ can overlook. By no means am İ a prissy, picky pottier. İ go places others will not, if need be and İ have tissues with me İ will go behind bushes. Nature is way cleaner than many gas stations. İ don`t even have any issues with the ”Old Fasioned” toilets here. However- this bathroom reeks of urine, the toilet is stained and has no seat and there is NO TOILET PAPER…EVER. The ”ish” are too many and İ had to search out alternative means. Thankfully the Turkish are much more understanding about the need to use the bathroom and pretty much every hotel or restaurant will let you use theirs without purchase. Bülent likes to only use 4 star hotels when we are out and about which leads to many high class pit stops. All of this made me ponder bathroom-ish.
For example when you are stranded without toilet paper–What do you do??. Well in response to that, I try to always have at least a tissue or two in my purse. If no tissue and desperate, use the inside of the empty roll–better than nothing. Other related ish–the 5 second light. İn Turkey electricity is MUCH more expensive than in the States. This has resulted in some very Eco-friendly solutions. Most bathrooms have motion sensor lights. This is wonderful, it saves money and electricity. However, some people are either trying to save too much money or have no idea how long it takes to pee. İ was in this situation just today. İ walk in to the bathroom. Light comes on. Good. İ walk into the stall, the light comes on. Good. İ sit down, the light turns off. Not good. When İ was peeing it was like İ was at football game leading the wave. Every 5 seconds İ fling my hands up in the air to activate the sensor after being plunged into darkness. What is even more fun is sometimes your hands do not reach up far enough to activate the sensor and you have to just finish up in the dark. Then when you stand up, the light is like…Oh, you`re still here? İ realize this is way more potty talk than many of you will want to read. But come on, in the first sentence İ reported İ had potty-ish. You KNEW I was not going to talk about food or give a recipe. Or at least you hoped.
First the good news. No one in this house has Tuberculosis, Yay! Not that we were worried about it, a]or getting tested for it. Or coughing up blood. So take that Mercutio! A plague on our houses! Weak!
But I will give him another point, just for being a pain in my ass. More accurately, my lower back. So yesterday to keep the guilt from eating me alive I helped clean the apartment. I was helping move the futon and I bent over and lifted (stupid!) and I felt something pop, or move. When I stood up it hurt so badly that I thought I was going to pass out, you know when your vision gets blurry and goes in and out? Whoooo!
It is still killing me. I can’t bend over or use any of my lower back muscles. Ibuprofen didn’t make a dent at all, neither did Bengay, heat or stretching. A couple of martinis did help me sleep. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.