So Agent L will never be accused of having a pretty face, but she normally works with what she has and maintains a certain level of vanity/maintenance. It’s all gone to hell in the last week. No make-up, hair in a perpetual ponytail, (I HATE it when women do that) glasses, skin gone to shit, bags under eyes. Erdoğan owes me about 27 hours of sleep, and now, botox, because he’s been forcing me to work on my frown lines.
For some reason, this look works on a certain class of men. (We have theories. We will tell you about them if you come over with a bottle of wine.)
Figure one: the creeper dude who sidled up to me in the kantin at (fuck my life) Bakırköy and scootched his chair closer to mine and told me in a very licentious way that he wanted private lessons. With me.
“Sorry, my schedule’s full,” I said mildly.
Last night on the way back from (fuck my life) Bakırköy, I managed a miracle and got on a not totally packed metrobus, first try. No seats, but I got a prime location next to the bus driver, which is always a fun little adrenaline rush as you stand there staring out the wind shield while the bus hurtles down the special metrobus lane and you imagine your frail fram hitting the windshield at who knows how many kilometers per hour. (We have mastered thinking in kilos. We cannot, somehow, wrap our frail brain around the rest of the metric system.) The fun part? The way these guys drive it seems real that at any moment you might.
The bus driver sternly asked everyone to move back. When I did, he said, in English, that I was fine and invited me to stand where I had been standing. We then had a pleasant, 10:30 at night, following a full day of teaching, totally sick of English learners conversation about where we were from and if we were married and how old we were. “Fuuuuuuck,” I thought, counting the stops to Zincirlikuyu, which was beginning to sound like an island of peace.
In Mecediyekoy he pulled out a slip of paper and wrote his details down and told me precisely how to find him on “… the face. You know? The face? The biggest website on the internet?” and implored me to call him. I told him exactly what I have always told my mama when she tells me not to do something:
When we pulled into the Portal to Hell he said, “Amy! Amy! Wait!” (Always have a fake name at the ready, ladies.) “When everyone gets off, go left. I will tell my friend. He will open door. I will tell him now.”
And sure enough he opened his window, called to his pal in the waiting line of buses to open the door because I was a poor yabanci who didn’t speak Turkish, and to make sure I was safe.
“Don’t forget!” He called as I left the bus. “Call to me!”
And then, when all the poor suckers who didn’t, largely, look like death warmed over, swarmed to wait, I went left, and got on a completely empty metrobus, and had my choice of seats. Pondfrogsplash, take note.