Musings from Turkey

On the way to Çukubag

We are in a mini bus. The ottoman semi moon hangs from the mirror and it smells like sweat. The smell permeates all common transport here. It’s only the second bus today. We’ve been lucky. Guided by good people and money from our overly priced cave hotel in Goreme, Cappadocia. First a lavish breakfast (which reminds me, this place has the best figs I have ever gotten my taste buds on). Followed by a stop at the carpet weavers. Women weave, men roll the carpets and get our money. Beautiful carpets of all shades from crimson to dark blue. And for a moment, I forgot I don’t even like carpets. Humans are cruel. We boil butterflies to get silk. I’m wearing a pretty silk scarf on my wrist now. Next stop, pottery. First time i got dirty dancing. I feel watched here. People are kind. But I can feel them weighting me. What would it take for the women to wear mini skirts in a place like this?


I am part of the few women I see around, making maybe 10% of the whole. The rest are men. Small men. Looking old, tired and dusty. Sipping tea at child-like table, stealing glances at me. At my naked, infidel legs. I love the tea habit. Everywhere, in little glasses, people gather to take little sips. It’s not the 5 o’clock tea, or the tea ceremony it is just a respite. Available to all. Even the sheperd in Ghimbar Gorge will be able to offer it to his guests around the fire. The farmers count their gains in the fields around a pot of tea too.

The women are covered. The naked skin around their ankles seems alluring. I wonder how they breathe under their black robes, under their black scarves. But you can sense the air of dissent even here, the tension between secular, modern and the conservative, islamic way. An average provincial town where we stopped because the bus company decided it was a good midway. Midway to Konya, the land of Rumi and then further to Egidir.

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