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Sexy in Kreuzberg

Ízlem Schńfer

Full of fantasies, I ride my bicycle. Sure you can hardly write in such a situation. Only a strong memory can help when you sit down to write. It's certainly not like riding a bicycle with a miniskirt on in summer with a secret exhibitionism in mind and a breeze from underneath. It has always enticed me to notice more men stealing glances at me when I'm riding a bike with a miniskirt on. Let's not skip over it saying it's natures way. Let's see where our fantasy will take us. It's completely like a dream to me. I know that life is a risk, even being in traffic in Turkey, let alone fantasizing on a bicycle. No need to further question that situation. Female bicycle riders don't even exist - and even women drivers are struggling to get where they want under heavy harassment. They are impowered, they combat the sexist pressures of male drivers ... May the force be with them. Perhaps the women have already found a formula to cope with the problem. I don't know, maybe in time they will even start liking it or instead, like some, turn into killers. No matter how much we console ourselves and our German acquaintances by saying that "the Turks in Turkey are far better off from those here", the realities we live in don't say so. My memories of not daring to enter traffic are long abandoned in that land of years ago. I ran away from all this and came to Berlin, Germany to ride my bicycle. I came, yet I parked in the wrong spot: Kreuzberg.

Here, you aren't that far removed from back there. I don't know how I can wander around the limits of my most private feelings amongst all these fantasy-lacking people. Perhaps I know, but I don't let it be known. It's best not to let it be known. It's the men who hide themselves, though they still seem to act more sexual to me. Then there are those who are not too explicit, who know but act as if they don't. The saddest thing for me when I had newly arrived in Germany, was no longer hearing the wolf whistles - men were no longer trying to seduce me as they had in Turkey. Was I not attractive to men here? I got depressed about it for a while, but later I understood the different mentality and the atmosphere here. Anyway I was too young back then. The men here have already adopted to the rule of "I'm not calling a beauty beautiful unless the beautiful is mine". Modernity, that's what it is. But everything has a good and a bad side ... Problems are unavoidable, but the trick is to find the easy way out. Real and passionate love is what I'm yearning for, no matter how artificial everything seems here. It's not possible to distinguish sex and sexism. The problem is not finding the right person, but that the right person comes too early.

It's partly a revenge, this text. From whom? From the veiled, headscarved, trenchcoated Turkish women who go on eating seeds when I ring and ask them to give way to my bike, and their husbands who politely give way, but bust a "fuck you" thinking I don't know Turkish. With the first opportunity I start observing them. Where are these women going? Good guess! ╩ Yes, to shopping, to visit relatives, and to go cleaning at four o'clock in the morning. I get off my bicycle and jump into the metro at this ungodly hour of the morning. Here, women file into the metro like packs of rats. It's like they wear their workers' uniform on the way to work. Almost all of them are the same size, same weight, same type. The metro at this hour is filled with them. They are going to work. How can one dress so bad? I sit and imagine. Their body language is banal, so I force my fantasies. I undress them slowly. I remove their headscarves first. Then I attempt my revenge with the most sexist revolt. Half-naked in dim light, all at once, sometimes one by one. Hands at their pleasure spots, touching their own breasts. How hungry for sex they are. How nice they touch themselves. Bewildered women yearning for satisfaction replace the moulded images. They have no charm whatsoever, but this secret thing which I do excites me. What actually gives me pleasure is to be exaggerating such a "natural" thing in the metro. Their husbands are next. They are naked. Oh my god, they are already humping beneath the bedsheets. The women are afraid or ashamed of making the sounds of pleasure. They are making love secretly under the covers even with the man they've been making love to for 20 years. Legal rape in normal life. The women look tired. The women wait for it to end. The men still go on. They must be fantasizing about other women, masturbating on them. Sex is a mandatory attack; call your wife whenever you will and she'll come. Afterwards she'll clean the bath and cook. This is slavery for life, even in the bedroom. I don't understand how most of these men can banalize their women so much that it's like eat, drink and shit, while they are so hungry and full of fantasies for other women. And how do these women, not even with a single gesture make me recall that they live in Germany? And what can one expect from the children born into such banality? Of course they will, once they grow out of their houses, stereotype the women they find to be different, think that these women dress to be harassed, so why not slip the finger at them? It's not unexpected. Whatever. They should at least give way when I ring my bicycle, that would be enough for a start. I know, I know ... We can come across the same views anywhere, in any society - without the veils and headscarves or from those who wear miniskirts and make-up and attract attention even with a headscarf on. They are out of my sight for the time being.

Cooking pasta at home. The Onions are roasted, the perfect time to make the tomato paste. I take the paste out from the fridge and dip the spoon in and smell it. It's rotten and my onions are about to burn. I run to ring a neighbour's doorbell. It's a matter of Turkish nostalgia on my behalf. It's common there - this inter-neighbour exchange of urgent provisions. Anyway, the woman who opens the door is one of those I mentioned. The type who don't deign to give way, ignoring me and my bike. She looks awkwardly at my face. I, in turn, feel displaced. Look at the kind of primitivity I go through in the middle of Germany. Unwillingly she gives me the two spoons of tomato paste. I feel the need to explain: "Auntie my onions are a-burning... I noticed my paste was rotten a little bit too late..."

I notice my ineffective observations. How easily they can become Germanized when it's not their dish, in spite of the fact that they are so deeply attached to their customs. One last explanation to you: all neighbours in the building I live in belong to this Turkish typology I described. That's why I'm so fed up. Left, right, back, front -╩ its filled with them. I'm depressed and so decide to take a short ride on my bike. Unlocking my bicycle at the building lot where I parked, what do I hear from one of these ladies?: "don't attach your bike here, we can't pass with our shopping carts". There is actually space available for her to pass with her cart. Ooh, I say: "Even God can't save you, may the Devil fuck all of you".
Starship Nummer 7, Seiten 96ff


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