Turkish Medicine

Being sick anywhere is a bummer….but my first malaise in Istanbul has opened new avenues through which I am ambling. I have been a bit under the weather the last few days…On Saturday I felt so bad I thought I was going to die…and by Sunday I was afraid I wasn’t. Since then it has leveled into a consistent state of misery with occasional bouts of despair…until today.
Our doorbell (a Duo Chime 2000) rang this afternoon and I heard the sound of a neighbor making her way past my wife and down towards my room. Before I knew it, she walked through my bedroom door with a mission to accomplish and armed with lemon cologne and an intimidating determination. Commanded to sit in a chair, I obeyed while she dowsed my cranium with cologne and began to compress the sides of my head trying (or so it seemed) to invent a new form of osmosis.
With her chin bearing down on the top of my skull, she began to use all 90lbs of her weight to press my temples together…I heard something crack (not a “good” cracking sound), my eyes bulged, and something snapped. This seemed to make her happy and she went to work pulling my hair out by its roots and wrapped up the whole process with successfully shifting the skin from my forehead to somewhere below my chin. She smiled, patted me on the back, packed up her bottle of cologne and headed out.
I don’t know what she did…but this little lady from Istanbul worked magic. While my feet are still not firmly on the ground, the tide has turned, the weather has changed, and I am smiling again….or will as soon as my lips work their way back to my mouth.
Yet again, these wonderful people called Turks…have saved me with their kindness.

1 Comment so far

  1. Beverly Hamel (unregistered) on September 17th, 2006 @ 4:17 am

    This sounds close to a ritual in the Southeast Asian area. I met tons of wonderful Cambodian people and I made friends with many of the grownups even though the children seemed to stampede me whenever I went visiting.
    Anyway, long story short, I’ve seen nee-yays (grannies) rub the daylights out of good healthy skin using a coin and some kind of nasty smelling stuff that I swear was a thousand years old or something. WOW! The smell knocked you over and you WANTED to die. Sometimes my nose felt like it was curling. I know it’s a Buddhist thing, but I never wanted to get too near to one of those nee-yays whenever I saw the “kit” come out if little Savoun had started coughing. I had to flee quickly.

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