Thursday, December 08, 2005


I am still surprisd by the diversity of Ankara. When I first steppd into the flat of my first hosts in the city, Ozan and Alp, I had he impression of having founda bizarre socialist climbers enter, telling from the decoration (climbing walls with graffities on th line of "Atheism is a non profit organization", Bakunin boks on the shelves, etc) Not to say that I felt at home. Ozan made that clear from the beginning anyway, in one of the strange occasions n which I saw him. In the house nobody cooked, bt when they did th atmosphere turned festive and exceptional. They spent most of their time working on their computers (they were engineers o somthing like that). When the calling to pray (that mystic scream that can be heard all trough the Islamic world) sounds Alp switchs his face to the awful medicine position and marches to the room more furthr away from the outside.
The other members of Hospitality Club I contacted couldn't be more different. We arranged to meeting in the door f a centri shopping mall. I was unconsciously looking for a European looking girl, so my surprise was huge when Turkan turnd up wearing a scarf. Turkan studies economics at university and distances herself rom the stereotype of traditional 'kitchen-and-kids-sentenced minded muslim woman. As Turkan had to leave for his parents town, he commended me to Akin, his friend, who welcomed me in his office, dedicated to charter exhange studis abroard. Only when the minute needle hitted 7 pm we started eating, as Akin respected Ramadan strictly. Akin's vision of the world was worlds away from Alp and Ozan's one. He regarded Ataturk as a great man who had unified the nation. H regarded the Kurdish problem literally as that, a problem of the Kurds, or at he most a political problem created by foreign interests. In the picture, Turkan and Akin. Thanks for your hospitality!!
SURPRISE IN ANKARA: Out of a book of a Cortazar book… (Were you in Norway?)

I regarded this kind of meetings to be secluded to the fantastic pages of great Argentinian novelist Julio Cortazar, little more than literary facts. I was walking towards the bus stop when a girl I hadn't paid attention to addressed me: "Hey! Were you in Norway?" Dressed for a job interview it was hard to recognize her. We had in fact met in the rainbow Gathering in Norway in July. I remembered her perfectly and actually my intention was to pay her a visit during my stay in Ankara, but having lost her email shortly after writing it down, I held no hopes to see her again. Well, chaos works better than MSN sometimes. She lived a few meters away from my friends appartment in Ankara. Norway, only memories by then, almost unreal if it hadn't been for the fact that we became witness of ech other. It had been real. Emel was fighting those days to find a job in order to achieve economic independence from her parents, trying to conserve her liberty at the same time. Naturaly impossible. In other words, and the cases abbound world wide this week, she is becoming double headed… We drank a cheap wne in the campus of Ankara University (appropiately situated next to the Army Barracks…) watching invisible baseball match. Then we signed up to see half american action action movie for free at the Uni cinema. Before saying goodbye she presented me a cooking pot "made in Poland" she had bought in Sweden. Karmaful object.

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