Sunday, November 11, 2007

Wasting away at the Mall

It has been an uncomfortable time for us, basically sitting around waiting for Visas. We are cooped up in our hostel, full of smokers and smoke, with the nightclub next door pounding dance beats through the wall until 5 am, 6 on Saturdays.

We've headed off to the mall today a couple of stops along the fast, clean, easy subway line. Clara is shopping for appropriate Muslim wear, I am along for the ride. I'm not a lot of fun at malls, seeing as how I don't like to buy anything and I hate consumerism. But, I enjoy people watching and an occasional movie.

This mall is the largest I have ever been to. It has 6 or 7 floors with all the requisite marble, stone and chrome of a modern shopping emporium. No Grand Bazaar here!

You pass through metal detectors to enter and then you may as well be in any mall anywhere: LEE Jeans, Adidas, designer dresses. The only things to identify it as Turkish are the occasional head scarf, the rare burka, the lack of natural blond hair and the presence of prodigidous probiscuses.

Yes, the Turks have a lot of big noses, often of the beak variety and the women are well aware of it. Every day I see women, usually in their 20's, who have bandages on their faces as a result of a recent surgery to get straightened out.

Another Turkish trait is their closeness. Women and Men meet with a kiss-kiss on either cheek, regardless of gender and age. Women predominately walk hand in hand with each other, but it is not uncommon to see men walking arm and arm as well.
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