Tales from the Harem

17 Responses

  1. christopher says:

    Expat essay perhaps…but not just another…as yours comes with depth of thought.

  2. diane says:

    That was a great morning read (sipping my yogurt/banana shake & not wearing a tank top). I especially relate to the pesky neighbor girls, remembering my own troubles with them when my daughters were little. Ay, good luck with that.
    I appreciate the insight of "adding to the mix", it's a wonderful attitude.
    Hope you have a good week. xo d

  3. Jenn @ Juggling Life says:

    This is why we were all thrilled to see you go–so we could read THIS. So insightful.

    Those girls look like they've been watching some Hannah Montana–the poses are just too much.

  4. lime says:

    thank you for not sharing an essay about the bath. and thanks for sharing the various perspectives of expats. it's got me thinking quite a lot about my interactions with other expats in trinidad…reminding me of why i avoided most of them.

    as for the various playmates, interesting how character shines through regardless of language barriers isn't it?

  5. Green Girl in Wisconsin says:

    You're going to write a travel book, right?
    Because you just said what I've always THOUGHT about those books, but never quite named as eloquently. Only a few have been fulfilling reading because they strayed from the script.

  6. haphazardlife says:

    Naw,this is a quintessential Jocelyn essay.

    You need a trip to the hamam to embrace the Turkish way of womanhood for it to become an expat essay. And somehow, I still think it wouldn't quite be the "real" thing.

  7. tattytiara says:

    Wow, interesting post. I'm always keen to understand the expat experience since one of my closest friends is one, and her story seems to mirror that of my great grandmothers so closely, so many decades apart.

  8. alwaysinthebackrow says:

    So, if I dream of living in another country someday, can I have you make sure that I find the good side of things? I think I see it just in the attitudes that come through the pictures of those little girls. Amazing how culture works.

  9. Midlife Jobhunter says:

    And a most enjoyable one.

    "In all of its remembered history, this has been a place that has been smart enough to welcome commerce, channel it, and weave new ideas into the fabric."

    Thinking we could use some of that thinking where I live. I'm behind in reading, but will catch up. I find your perspective, once again, fascinating. Oh, and girl problems no matter where. I'm so sorry.

  10. Fragrant Liar says:

    So, looks like you're fitting right in the best way you can. Once you've gotten the insights of those who came before you, you just have to go for it and feel your way, right?

  11. geewits says:

    You left off the main reason that I thought an English major would embark on such a trip: Book fodder.
    Have I told you about the other blog that I am following called http://miamimarhaba.wordpress.com/ ?
    She has taken her family from Miami to Abu Dhabi. You guys really should hook up.

  12. Jim Berg says:

    Kitten, It's refreshing that you find yourself, and allowing your kids, to just not like some people. Like that neighbor with the donkey.

    You have been, and your kids will be, discriminating in the best way.

  13. Deborah says:

    Deeply satisfying. Wonderful writing. The kind of thing that goes a long way toward filling up my cup. You know how it feels to have a really good meal – especially if you haven't had much lately other than baguette and cookies?
    I loved your coining of 'Silk Road-ism'. Would that it becomes one of those expressions that everyone knows but doesn't know where it came from.
    Your way of looking at things – critically, humourously, humanistically – delights me, and the best part about reading you is that I learn. And I enjoy myself doing it, which is the hallmark of a good teacher, no??

  14. secret agent woman says:

    No matter where you go, there are things that endearing about the people there and things that are annoying. It's just the way the world works.

    But, really? No pubic hair? I thought that was just a peculiarly disturbing trend here.

  15. ds says:

    Definitely not Just Another Expat Essay. Full of insight & Provoking Thoughts, etc. etc. I love the Silk Road perspective–it helped me place where you are (physically, and in the continuum). Keep writing these, they're brilliant. There is more to be learned in the streets, methinks, than in the bath.
    Hope the girl problem resolves itself quickly and without repercussion.

  16. Pam says:

    Love your writing Jocelyn. I'm sure "dropping to the cobblestones" will work its way into the family vocabulary long after you've returned from Turkey!!! You are making such incredible memories and its wonderful how you share them. I would be completely unfamiliar with this part of the world, but for your fascinating insights.

  17. kmkat says:

    Jocelyn, I love you. Not in that sweet, syrupy everything-is-wonderful way; in the salty-in-the-sweet-makes-the-sweet-better way. This essay is wonderful for all the reasons the previous commenters noted.

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