Where’s Charlie?

01Oct11

Today, I got asked a lot of weird questions.

“Hey lady, where you going?”

“Hey lady, you want some perfume?”

“Hey lady can I ask you a question?”

You just used up your one question privilege, buddy.

Note: I have learned I hate being called “lady.”

But the one that took the cake was, “Where’s Charlie?”

To set the scene, my friend Natasha and I decided to hit up the Grand Baazar. We arrived late afternoon after a brief detour in Beşiktaş in search of The Loving Hut. We found it. Score! Only to learn that the owner hadn’t been seen in over a month. Sadness. It worked out for us though because as we grabbed some food at the cafe next door, we made a buddy who coached us in ordering food and the art of haggling. Indirim yep = gimme a discount, yo. Useful stuff indeed.

Then, we hopped on the tram and made our way to the bazaar. It was among the most overwhelming places I have ever been. A 500 year old maze bursting with touristy goods – jewelry, lamps, bowls, water pipes, you name it. And, of course, aggressive salesmen galore doing just about anything to get your attention. “What? You mean you AREN’T Charlie’s angels?” Umm, no, we most certainly are not.

It was so intense. I didn’t buy anything yet because I do have 3 more months to mull over gifts, but I’m sure I’ll be back.

However, the really epic part of our day came after.

2 words: Çemberlitas Hamam.

Talk about an amazing lesson in body acceptance. I can’t remember the last time I let a picture of myself in a bathing suit be taken without a strategically placed towel or arms or inner tube. I hated the sports bras at practice norm that I forced myself into in my competitive running days. I have never felt comfortable whether I was teeny tiny or rockin’ a little more junk in the trunk. Somewhere in between at the moment, I’m still not 100% comfortable though I’m getting there physically, mentally and emotionally (because it is a three (maybe more)-way street) but today, friends, was an enormous leap forward.

The hamam works like this. You sign up for the services you want, pay and get led to a changing room where you are handed a pair of really attractive black one-size-fits-all granny panties, sandals and a towel. And. that. is. it. All else is left behind.

We signed up for the scrub, baths and an oil massage and so headed to our first stop. Open the doors and WHAM! There’s a packed room full of granny panty-clad ladies getting scrubbed down by ladies dressed in black undies as well. Some of these scrubbers had opted for top coverage…some had not. And for some reason, most of their skivvies were lacy and way cuter than the ones we got. No fair.

When I say packed, I mean PACKED. So there we were getting up close and personal with young women with six-packs, more bootylicious women, older women, middle aged mommies…women of all shapes and sizes and all seemed to be totally ok with letting everyone see exactly what they were all about. It’s not like anyone was staring at each other, but when someone’s breasteses are all up in yo biznas, you will probably notice ’em and the lady who they belong to.

These scrubbing ladies were hardcore. Their way of telling us it was our turn was throwing water at us as we lay out on our warm towels sweating like no other.

What? Is that soap I just splashed in your eye? Well, that’s too damn bad. Lie down. Turn. Sit. Lie down.

I guess I wouldn’t be the happiest camper in the world either if I had scrubbed a couple hundred random bodies in my day.

Scrub. Rinse. Suds. Rinse. Hot tub. Oil massage. Shower. Done.

I have to say the little massage lady was older and freaking adorable. Definitely not of the soap splash in your face variety.

All in all, it was an awesome experience – my skin feels like baby butt all over; I had a massage for the first time that wasn’t sports injury related; And, most of all, I was reminded that no matter what you look like right now, even if it’s not your ideal, you deserve to be pampered, loved and taken care of. Most of all, you deserve all of that from yourself.

So go show yourself some love from me! Eat something that really makes you feel awesome, go outside and soak up some beautiful fall weather, dance around in your underwear – whatever it is that makes you happy. You all da bomb and you deserve it.

Maybe the Baazar guy was right. I guess I do feel like one of Charlie’s smokin’ hot badass angels after all. Black granny panties instead of cute white bikinis included.

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3 Responses to “Where’s Charlie?”

  1. LOVE the hammam experience -weekends are c*raz*y so perhaps during the week you can sneak over for another rub down. That is one of the Turkish secrets to such fab skin. Glad it unleashed your inner Goddess Charlie’s Angel bad arse!

  2. i’m a lil bummed that you didn’t get to show your bum, but rock out with yo tatas out girl! i love this!


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