We like precise weather information in our household, so I can tell you what the conditions were in our back yard at 10:30 a.m. today — 70 degrees, relative humidity 93 percent. For those of you who live outside the humidity zone, I can tell you this means the effort of lifting a cup of coffee to your lips causes sweat to drip off your nose. I had a cafe date with Fatih and Idil, and wanted to arrive exercised and showered. I arrived sweaty and late.
Oh, well. This didn’t stop Fatih from his customary over-the-top Turkish greeting, calling me, for the millionth time, “my favorite American.” The cafe owner, a fellow middle easterner, was unimpressed: “My favorite American is Julia Roberts.”
Turkey isn’t really the Mideast, is it? But it’s not really Europe, either. If nothing else, I have my acquaintance with Fatih, Yavuz, Idil and Nursen to thank for our family’s latest catch phrase for when we end up in the weird hinterlands (lately, any place outside Ann Arbor): We are in eastern Turkey now.
What a nice visit we had, a little post-Fellowship fellowship. They’re awaiting the birth of their little American citizen, I’m awaiting the end of Kate’s school year. None of us have jobs — they’ll be looking when they return to Istanbul, aided by the absurdly low salaries paid to nannies there. Evidently you can hire a Moldovan woman to care for your child, clean and cook for about $300 a month. If you’re lucky, she might have a medical degree. Yes, your own personal five-day-a-week pediatrician and household chef.
“I don’t know if I’d like a pediatrician vacuuming my carpet,” I said. “I’d think she’d have special reason to be irritated.”
“No, they’re the nice ones,” Fatih said. “The greedy ones become Natashas.” (A Natasha is a prostitute, and you can probably guess why they call them that.)
The wind is howling — tornado warnings north of here, severe t-shorms coming this way. So let’s round up a few links, for the bare handful of readers who come our way over the weekend:
Poor Diane Kruger: Tall, thin, beautiful, but not beautiful enough. Slate explains the problem Helen of Troy poses for casting directors. I can’t imagine looking like her and then having to read a bunch of reviews written by nose-picking movie critics, complaining I don’t have what it takes to launch a thousand ships. She looks plenty pretty enough to me, although she certainly doesn’t look Greek.
The Boston Globe Iraq sex pictures story is just too weird for words, but even more worrisome is the objectionable picture itself, which even an amateur surfer of internet porn could tell you depicts …internet porn featuring actors, not the real deal. Sometimes I think a dirty mind is one of the most valuable assets a working journalist can have.