So, two white girls walk into an Istanbul ghetto, looking for the pork butcher.....
This weekend, Carpetblogger and the Beirut Correspondent (a 14-year vegetarian until, uh, last week and now a ravenous carnivore) succumbed to the siren call of the forbidden meat. So, off we went in search of a Greek butcher we'd read about who reportedly specializes in pork.
The extent of our directions: it's "behind a gas station, on the street to Dolapdere in a 'borderline' neighborhood." The 'hood -- Tarlabashi -- has been exposed less to the gentrifying influence of foreigners and artists and more to the, shall we say, chaotic, influence of poor gypsies and Kurds.
Having found the gas station in question, we wandered around back streets that perhaps white girls don't often wander around. We had some reservations about the wisdom of this, but having come so far, we were unlikely to turn back. So we approached some old guys who were clearly wondering what we were up to.
This is an approximation of the conversation:
CB: Merhaba! Nasilsiniz? (note: all coherent, verb-based Turkish exhausted with this polite greeting)
Old Guys: Merhaba!
CB: Et Yunanistan nerede? (roughly, "where Greece meat?" )
The old guys reacted the way you would expect old guys to react to white girls asking an ambiguous question about foreign meat.
Old Guys: Nudge, nudge, giggle, giggle. "Duz! Sola!" (straight and to the right)
Armed with this data, we found the signless butcher between a Shell station and a Greek Orthodox church ensnarled in concertina wire. It has served the neighborhood's remaining Greeks and foreigners achin' for some bacon since 1962. Indeed, the forbidden meat, especially the peppercorn encrusted homemade salami is very very good. With some salami, and some bacon, and some sausage, we departed happy.
Some other time we'll talk about another popular joke that starts "So, this white girl with two dogs walks into a wine shop..."