Talking Story
  1. burqaYou could wear pajamas grocery shopping and no one would know.
  2. Skip everything but eye make-up.
  3. Ponytail hair every day.
  4. No shaving, waxing, or nylons.
  5. No sunscreen.
  6. Big lunch? No problem.
  7. Ultimate crowd blend—you could hide in your car and check email instead of sitting with the other mothers at the soccer game. (Of course I saw your awesome goal/kick/pass/tackle, honey! I was sitting on the bench right there!)
  8. One black handbag.
  9. One pair of comfortable black shoes.
  10. Carrying a scythe, you could scare the crap out of people walking down a hospital corridor.


Big Note:

I understand that what I called a burka in this and previous posts is a religious garment, an outward reflection of an inner commitment to a particular standard of modesty and propriety. I respect that. I also understand that these garments are usually worn only in public where men not related to a woman might see her. However, as a non-Muslim woman from the USA, seeing so many women wearing hijab, niqab, and burqas in Turkey made me wonder what benefits I might get from wearing Islamic dress. For those interested, here’s a better description of what I saw.

Hijab: Covers a woman’s body leaving only face and hands visible. What I saw most often in Turkey, particularly among women walking alone. Long skirts or long pants with thigh-length coats and head scarves. The clothes were always dark blue, grey, black, or brown. Some of the under 30 crowd wore brightly patterned head scarves. Well, sorta. Lots of blues, golds, muted greens, and browns. Very few pinks, reds, yellows, or purples.

Niqab: A loose fitting garment that also covers part of the face leaving only eyes visible. Less common, but I usually saw women in niqab in pairs or threesomes. Black. The fabric weight varied with some floating more like silk or nylon and others looking heavy like wool.

Burqa: A loose fitting garment that also obscures the face with a mesh so even the eyes are not visible. Fairly rare, but burqa wearers tended to travel in packs with male escorts. Black, only black, and heavy weighted fabrics.

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