Posted by / Thursday, May 8, 2014 / No comments /

The Problem with Burkas

See this woman?
                              
This sour puss was everywhere. Right smack dab in the middle of a happy crowd. Just when I rounded the corner grinning. Blocking my way down the stairs.  She was in the Atarurk Airport in the bathroom next to the mosque for women, pulling a sweater out from under her huge hanging breasts and replacing it with something else, maybe a grocery bag..these women were always making laborious adjustments in the bathroom. But that's not the larger problem as I see it. 

It's this:

The porcelain hole they squat over to relieve themselves. And trust me, they are not always quite this pristine.  

This frowning heavy set woman liked me when I entered the bathroom.  I smiled at her as I waited for my predecessor and she and a friend were making burka adjustments, no one acknowledging the overpowering stench.  She smiled back and inquired: Iraq? Most people took me for Turkish, some for Spanish, but this was my first Iraqi. I should have just nodded yes; surely she wasn't bilingual.  But I responded, USA , and her look turned disdainful. 

Her friend came out of the stall.  The group of women were all quickly heading to prayer, with the intensity of vultures descending on a carcass, and I don't think any one of the whole gang took time to aim. When I opened the door, I gagged. The floor was a slippery mess. I couldn't possibly keep the hem of my slightly shorter dress dry and it couldn't have been nearly as heavy to hold up as their garb. And I suspected that I was slightly more sprightly, weighing considerably less.  I couldn't handle the smell and left without even trying to lift my skirt and maintain my footing on the slippery edges... even though I had a two hour line ahead of me through Customs.  And then they drag these robes across the kitchen floor?



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