March 25, 2014

Marriage Arrangements in the Hamam

Where are you from?

Erkek arkadaşın?

Evli misin?
Are you married?

Bekarım. Bakmıyorum.
I'm single. I'm not looking. 

(I don't know if bakmıyorum translates well. Maybe aramıyorum is better; 'I'm not searching')

Later I am sitting on a marble slab, waiting to be scrubbed and massaged. One woman insists on pursuing the conversation.

Isveçli something something.

No, I'm not Swedish. I'm Canadian.

O Isveçli something something.

He's Swedish? Then how did you meet?

Kocamın kardeş something something.

[I will skip past the part when I confuse koca (husband) and hoca (teacher).]

Wait. He's your husband's brother? Then how is he Swedish?

O Isveçli something something istiyor. Sarı saç, mavi gözlü...

[Internal speech:] Oh, now I understand. He wants to marry a Swedish girl with blonde hair and blue eyes. Never mind that I'm not Swedish and I don't have blonde hair or blue eyes. Hey, we're all the same.

Kanada'ya döneyeceğim.
I'm going back to Canada.

O gelsin.
He can come.

Bakmıyorum, ama teşekkür ederim.
I'm not looking, but thank you (hand to heart, a gesture that has become a reflex).

Kaç yaşındasın?
How old are you?


He is 29.


Giyindikten sonra, biz fotoğraf çekebilir miyiz?
After we get dressed, can we take a picture?


I make a point of leaving quickly and escape without a photo. 

In guide books, I believe I have read about how back in the day women used hamams to seek out potential brides for their sons, or in theory older sisters for their younger brothers. Umm... it's still happening.

1 comment:

Yay for comments! Nothing mean please, and that means you, Anonymous.