Monday, January 2, 2017

Get a hijab!

The consulate is advising Americans to shelter in place. Friends are advising me to get a hijab, one of them even singing her advice in the style of the old Silhouettes doo wop song, “Get a Job.” Yip yip yip yip mum mum mum mum, Get a hijab!

I liked living in Turkey much more when the only thing I had to worry about was sexual assault from strangers. Oh, the good old days. These days, sexual assault is what we call presidential diplomacy and the risk of getting blown up or shot to death is increasing day by day.

I’m feeling estranged from this city, like a parent of a school shooter who had no idea that their child was capable of so much evil.

I’m holed up in my apartment where I’m savoring the last spoonfuls of the extra crunchy Skippy peanut butter I brought from home. I have enough creative projects to keep my hands busy and my mind active. I’m working on illustrations for a children’s book and a diary comic about my travels.

Last night, I dreamed I was a playwright like Oscar Wilde and I bowed to a full audience of appreciative theatergoers who rose to their feet to applaud me. It was a wonderful dream, and I think maybe because I mentally transported myself back to Portugal before I fell asleep, I was able to have such a happy dream. Although my travels are limited for the time being, I can go anywhere I choose with my imagination.  I should choose to think about Portugal, laid-back people, good food and wine, rather than jihadists and Isis calling Turkey the protector of the cross and vowing more bloodshed. Whoops, there I go again. 

Okay, positive thoughts: Lisbon, wine, fado music, cool art, urban sketching, delicious food, going outside, not being told to shelter in place.  

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