Of Tesbih and Testes: Scrubbing Away the Next Layer of Disgruntleds

14 Responses

  1. Friko says:


    firstly, congratulations on being back in the States in one piece and fully functioning.

    Hm, interesting, yes, all of it. And yes, realistic and factual.

    Then: I was once married to a Cypriot, with whom I lived in England and Germany; Your American friend lives in Turkey, when she lives with her husband, where she and her husband follow Turkish habits and rules. Women are adaptable, men less so. A Turkish/Cypriot man transplanted to a Western country is less likely to adapt. Without extended family and neighbours of his own to take care of, he will soon abandon his wife and leave her in her traditional role as wife and mother, as he sees it, and find fellow expats with whom to spend the sort of life to which he feels entitled.

    This is my experience and the experience of quite a number of other Western European women, nearly all of whom have divorced their husbands. Those who stayed have more or less taken the metaphorical veil.

  2. lime says:

    i am so glad she gave permission for you to share her insights. i really appreciate what she has to say about the ups and downs of a cross-cultural marriage. really rather fascinating and a lot to chew on and think about there between the two of you.

    and i am glad you’re floating along happily. just get fat on the foods you missed and the love of the folks you missed 🙂

  3. Monica says:

    well, if I was a US citizen I’d say welcome back !

    sounds like you have experienced what one often does when meeting other cultures; observed, making your opinion, observed some more, and getting a new opinion. And that is what it is all about.

    So what happened in the Mean Mehmet case?

  4. Jazz says:

    I’m glad LAW let you publish her thoughts. So interesting to see her point of view.

  5. First, I had to come to grips with the idea of a retirement compound outside of Duluth. But I’ve shaken that off, and was intrigued by your friends perspective and acceptance. And yet… the research shows very plainly that when a culture begins to educate its women you see, along with the equalization of power, a subsequent stabilization of population growth, increased commitment to environmental issues and peace, and economic development. So I cannot be comfortable thinking, well, that’s just the way it is in Turkish society. I really do think you can’t go entirely with cultural relativism (and I’m not suggesting that your friend is) – sometimes outrage is not just appropriate but necessary.

  6. This is so very interesting–the part that resonates with me so much is when you point out that the cultural differences throw your belief system into stark highlight–this is the exact experience I had with our exchange student from Brazil. Also? Protestant work ethic observation–YES!

  7. Green Girl in Wisconsin says:

    Welcome back!
    I bet you’re in the throes of culture shock–I know what only 3 months in Egypt did to me.
    This was interesting to read–and one of my reactions was “and there’s the substance abuse issues.” Married to an alcoholic, I was that woman with the toddler at the party whose husband didn’t want to leave. It wasn’t only gender differences, addiction carried significant weight in how we lived out our lives and our familial responsibilities. (Better now, he quit drinking years ago–but it took a BIG event to trigger even an awareness that he had a problem)
    Are you starting a new dissertation? So much ground to cover here!

  8. “if someone needs you to help them, then you just put down what you’re doing and do it.”

    Sounds good to me. Reminds me of how we’re supposed to treat others. Interesting discussion and please thank your friend for sharing her thoughts. And welcome home. Seems like yesterday we were packing up your house. When you get back in there, you’ll have lots of new stuff, but just think of all the clearing out you did. Plenty of room.

    Fascinating year for you and because of who you are, such insight you have brought to me as I followed along. Wished I’d been better at the family blog. Enjoy settling in. Glad you got that pork chop.

  9. OMG, you’re back! I need to return this afternoon to read this whole post as I am dashing out the door now, but I was thrilled to get your comment on my blog and see that you ARE BACK!!!!! I’ve missed your hilarity and insight, ma dear!


  10. Rebecca Cazares says:

    Wow. So glad you posted this. Having a cross-cultural marriage myself – albeit considerably different from the Turkish culture – there was a lot of insight expressed by your friend that I need to mull over and take in. I like to think of myself as very open to other cultures, having spent two formative years in France in my twenties. However some of the things she expressed gave me a mirror to look into and see some attitudes I need to change in myself. Very cool. And welcome home!

  11. ds says:

    Welcome home! How quickly your year passed; I’ve so enjoyed all of your insights & observations (and pictures). And this, this is an object lesson in coming to terms with different cultural mores, as well as our own “boundaries” as you put it. Many thanks to your friend for sharing her thoughts, too.
    Am now pondering my own boundaries & whether they are worth having…

    How good was that bagel, eh?

  12. Choochoo says:

    Yay for being back home again! Weee and Woooot and all that stuff.

  13. geewits says:

    I’m such a dummy. Every time I checked this site I only read the first three words in the title and thought I had already read it. I kept thinking “Surely they are back by now!” I just now realized it was a different post. And a great one at that! Now I have quite a bit to think about. Thanks for stirring up my brain.
    And welcome home.

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