CHAPTER 1 – A SAD INTRODUCTION
My name is Ergen Celik, I’m a Turkish man, and I didn’t go out on a single date during four years of college. Forget about sex, dating, relationships, the awkward 3 AM drunk-dialing to “that bitch of an ex”, I didn’t even get to sit down and have coffee with a member of the opposite sex during a get together that would have been consensually understood by both parties to be a “date”.
For those of you whose knowledge of Turkey stops at those nasty Turkish Delights that taste like Care Bear cartilage -which we don’t eat yet peddle on unsuspecting tourists-, it is possible that you might assume my lack of experience with the opposite sex as a direct result of growing up in a repressed Muslim country where seeing a female ankle is akin to laying eyes on a holy grail which comes fully equipped with the tightest vagina known to man.
Yes, I have to admit that it is generally harder to get laid in Turkey, compared to the more sexually open and active US of A (Fuckin’-A right, buddy!) But of course as it is with everything else, there are exceptions. For example, I’m pretty sure it’s not that easy for a douche bag from Jersey to tap some Amish ass, no matter how many times he flashes his orange-tanned six-pack. Also, there must be a reason why no one’s ever heard of a DVD called “Quaker Girls Gone Wild”.
Just like the level of sexual liberation is different in each corner of The States, there are parts of Turkey that are more secular and westernized than other areas. For those of you who can’t bother to spare the two seconds it takes to look up “Map of Turkey” on Google, let me first explain to you where we stand geopolitically. Stay with me, this will be brief.
Turkey as a country will always be the single child of the always-bickering divorced couple known as Europe and The Middle-East. Constantly pushed and pulled by both sides for their own validation, The Republic of Turkey grew up as a confused child, never knowing whether to fully embrace its secular, open-minded and progressive western side, or to bow down to its roots as a conservative Islamic nation, an artifact left behind by its previous existence as The Ottoman Empire. You know, the people who invented those cushy stools you rest your feet on.
Anyway, this is not a boring history book. If you are one of those people who desperately want to find out more about Turkey and can’t have enough Turkey trivia, be like everyone else who’s exactly like that: Don’t exist.
As far as your chances of getting laid depending on your geological placement in the country go, the answer was laid out by The Village People years ago: Go West. Since Western Turkey borders Europe, it makes sense that it’s more influenced by that side of the abusive parental unit than The Middle East. The general rule-of-thumb is, the further east you go, the more women you’ll see who look like beekeepers on witness protection.
Turkey is supposedly a secular country with lots of western democratic laws. Therefore, women are not obligated to cover their hair and no one has to follow sharia law. And the whole place is not as hot and humid as you might imagine.
We live in houses and apartments, drive cars in maddening traffic while singing along to our favorite songs playing on the car stereo. We come home from school and watch hours of cable TV while playing shitty puzzle games on our smart phones. We go out to bars and clubs to pound down brews (Or Raki, a Turkish drink that tastes to me like ass juice mixed with licorice) with best buds while we dance the night away. We bleed when you prick us, and giggle like immature schoolboys when you say “Prick”.
Therefore, let me state once and for all so we can move on to my story: I never lived in a cave, I never had four wives (I wish!), I never rode a camel and my only experience with public stoning is a scene from The Life of Brian. I’m just like you, a grown man obsessed with movies who didn’t have a single date in college.
There I was, a 22-year-old secular, liberal, open minded man without any specific religious or cult-related (what’s the difference, really?) reason to abstain from dating and sex, who still hadn’t even gone out on a single official date with a member of the opposite sex.
My tale might not contain the most exciting, dramatic, in-your-face action and beautiful, serene, tender as buttermilk love stories ever told. It doesn’t have secret government plots, explosions, space ships, child wizards, hunky teen vampires, religious conspiracy theories and whatever else that sells to tweeners with A.D.D. and middle-aged women with too much time on their hands.
I had kissed a couple of girls up until that time (We’ll get to that later) but had never actually gone out on a date with a girl. I know what you’re thinking but no, I wasn’t horribly disfigured or wasn’t a burn victim. A book I once read called “How to be Successful with Women” actually made it clear to me that even some burn victims scored a lot more than I did. Ouch.
I didn’t even have severe acne or any kind of a serious problem with my face. When I was in grade school, kids didn’t make fun of my face. They made fun of me because I used to wet my pants, but I eventually grew out of that so that wasn’t really a problem at age 18.
As far as my face goes, you can even say that I’m a good-looking guy. I have dark hair and hazel eyes. I do have quite a large nose but not in a stereotypical Jewish or an aristocratic British kind of way. Just a fairly large, yet smoothly shaped nozzle. One could even go as far as calling it a Roman nose, if the person who wore it flaunted it with an Ancient Roman kind of self-assuredness and dignity.
Okay, I might be a tad overweight. Have been for a large chunk of my life, no pun intended. You see, what happened was that I used to be skin and bones up until the 4th grade, and then I ballooned up, never to fully deflate. Around that time my parents thought this sudden upshift in molecular density was because I was being pumped full of cortisone due to some pain I had with my muscle tissue related to pollution.
How does pollution affect muscle tissue? Fuck if I know. I think my weight gain had less to do with cortisone and more to do with the first McDonald’s that opened in our city around the same time. I’ve been addicted to the five basic food groups ever since: Meat, Fat, Salt, Sugar and Food preservatives.
My relationship with the opposite sex started off at the bottom and declined ever since. To call my adolescence a complete and utter train wreck would be detrimental to train wrecks. Statistics show that at least a couple of people can survive a train wreck with a number of limbs still attached.
I think my journey into constant disillusionment and disappointment regarding my sex life began at junior high school. I might have shown my wee wee to a girl who might have been willing to show me her woo woo at one point during my childhood, but I doubt it. Wouldn’t you remember something like that? Guys, when was the last time you forgot about any of the vaginas you’ve seen in your lifetime?
I spent my junior high years at a very strict private French school where even during recess we were obligated to order coke and chips in French, which was “un coke et un chips s’il vous plait.” I’ve hated that pompous language ever since.
I’m skipping to 8th grade simply because I was sort of an outcast and somewhat deemed to be a loser due to my problems with habitual pants-wetting, so I don’t have any memories of anything resembling inter-gender communications up until that time.
For whatever reason, I would just go pee-pee whenever my body felt the need to. And before I could even realize what had happened, I’d have a round wet spot on the front of my pants. That would be hard to cover up especially during the summer days when I didn’t have my trusty long coat to be my accomplice in getting away with Pissing While Fully Clothed.
A lot of people said this was my way of subconsciously protesting my parents’ divorce, which took place when I was five. Who knows? All I know is that I’d love to beat the shit out of that five-year-old who decided that he would grow up to be a pants-pisser and lay the foundation for ten-odd years of serious self-esteem issues.
So, because of this problem and because I was a four-eyed anti-social dork who did nothing but watch movies at home, I didn’t have much of what you might call close encounters with the boob kind during my adolescent years.