This post was submitted by a Turkish reader of our blog:
by Zeynep Pelin Ataman*
I know the smell of her breast from somewhere very far and very close; Is it from my childhood in Çanakkale or is it the effect of my Byzantine DNA ? I don’t know the real reason (Could it also be because of my previous life as Aphroditi (witch and bitch) in Acropolis ? My Ottoman body full of cellulites is a proof of this, isn’t it ?) but I am sure that we know each other.
This city could see my pains, my secrets, my happiness when I was lighting candles in Lykavitos ! And I could see the pain, happiness and the glorious past of all women as I could see them in my grand-mother’s eyes from the old “Polis” ! I could feel the old Don Juan complex hidden in the Greek taxi driver’s machism when he was looking from the mirror just directly into my eyes when he was driving very fast in Kolonaki !
Only the people who can have an eye contact with others believe in the evil eye ! Blue eyes for “kako mati” was a big magic weapon that you can find on the streets, specially used by women ! Here, there is no rules in love ! You have the right to use all weapons ! Marias, Doras, Dimitras...They are all beautiful and strong women who look like “kukla” but they know very well how to play with “kukle” ! As a “Troyen” woman I must admit that I was not aware, to this extend, of their magical beauty ( Must I say power?) and I am jealous of this !
Who is the owner of Athina ? Greek woman ? Or Greek man who pretends to be hero in “everywhere” ? Greek man is glorious like Zeus’ Acropolis from outside but insecure at the deep inside. He prefers “fantastic” world of Acropolis. The Greek woman is like Lykavitos hill; She is looking for real love and power on Athina. She is holly and protective to the extend of not being “subject” of the Gods’ fantasy ! She is “Panogiotati”…and higher than Acropolis…I assume that Lykavitos (Sorry ! Greek woman !) is the hidden owner of Athina !
Turkolimano and Makrolimano (Paşalimanı) bring you to the Mediterranean chaos and attractiveness; They are like all Mediteranneans who laugh, cry, love and hate at the same time… I remember again my grand mother who was recommending me to see Pireus…I always had the feeling that she loved and hated me at the same time… I am in the Takis’ car who is looking for a Turkish girl like in the Turkish TV series ! My beloved Nancy mou is looking at me and we are laughing to each other ! She says “you don’t need to learn Greek, we can communicate with eyes” ! This is the crucial point ! We are two nations who can communicate with eyes ! Let’s put a big blue common eye on the Aeagan see and live together until the nature separates us ! When I am in front of the water, I feel that I love and hate this sea which separates and unifies us ! I remember theories on continental shelf and appreciate Takis who wants to touch Turkish continental shelf !
“Syntagma” reminds me of the Constitutional Law courses and Ibrahim Hoca (my constitutional law peace loving teacher) and “Taksim Meydanı” ! The (400) plies of the handsome soldier in front of the Parliament don’t let me forget my Ottoman past ! I took the tram in order to go to “Paleo Faliron” as the owner of the shoes shop on 28 Octovriou Street has recommended us ! Her father was from Istanbul ! I was crying when she was telling me her father’s story...We are talking in tears about “Politiki Kouzina”…She says that her favorite scene is when the officer husband of the Turkish girl discovers the meat balls with cinnamon ! He was wondering whether he was late or just on time to be an obstacle in front of the “unreasonable” love ! This “unconventional” union is not recommended like “cinnamon” in the köftedes ! Who knows ? One day, this separation movie would have an happy end ! Am I very naïve to expect from Fanis to be more insisting and from Saime to be less rational ?
One day, I will take a taxi from “Polis” and say to taxi driver “Monastiraki se parakalo” as I did all those three days in Athina because I will miss sitting in one of the cafes and drinking café frappé and eating “peynirli” while looking at the houses with nice “balkoni” and being under the charm of the city’s maternal feeling !
When I was leaving, I looked back on purpose, in order to be invited again by the city again ! I saw Haroula waiting to say good-bye to me in the airport. Before living “sto nou to dakry mou”, I asked her “Pes mou essy /na fygo/ na zisso/ i na hatho”?; She replied to me “They call you “magissa”, you will come back again whenever you put pink magical shoes on !
“I zoi mou i treli, kathe arhi katargissa” ! Of course, I will come again if the City calls me “sto lemo to fili”!