On my first few days in town, I had a bit of trouble really “seeing” Istanbul because I could not walk two blocks without a Turkish man stopping me to “chat.” They are very suave and charming (oh, and hot) so it’s quite hard to be rude.
The men here pretty much all fall into the “tall, dark, and handsome” category with their sunken Latin-lover eyes, dark coiffed hair, and unabashed confidence. Most are sharp-dressed restaurant hustlers who want you to come inside and eat, or carpet shop owners looking to get another “genuine” handmade rug off their hands, but it doesn’t stop there. It goes a little something like this:
“Where are you from?”
“Ah, American. Where are you going?”
“Just walking this way.”
“Can I just ask you a question?”
“No, I don’t want a Turkish rug” or “I just ate.”
“No, I just want to talk to you… you are so beautiful. How about some tea or coffee?”
My first day walking around I wasn’t completely hardened yet and had tea in the morning with some random middle-aged, gray-haired carpet salesman (who actually lives in New Jersey part of the year). He asked me to dinner, but I said no.
Then I met another carpet guy who wanted me to chat and have tea, but I said no. Then I met an Egyptian cardiologist who lives in Dubai (where I just came from) who is here for business. He just asked me to take a photo, so, I said yes (see, he doesn’t really fit this equation. He was from Dubai—totally harmless).
Then while looking for a place to have a quiet, relaxing lunch, a cute guy offered me a mixed mezze platter (Turkish appetizers) that I couldn’t refuse. And, of course, while I dined alone, he chatted me up and asked me to go for coffee during his break.
I said yes.
Ooh, I guess I let my guard down. If nothing else, the guys here are keeping me quite caffeinated; I’ve never been more alert! In Southeast Asia, the poor salesladies badger and guilt you into buying something, here in Turkey, the dark sexy Turkish men charm and seduce you into buying something… or more. And, of course, they are all single… I’m sure.