(I am doing little scetches around the city at the moment, word sketches--taking a break from the heavy political stuff)
Here, every day, the giant sits outside his cafe puffing on his nargile with his right hand and mashing buttons on his cell phone with his left. He has a shaved head and a black goatee and wears heavy metal concert shirts that hug his bulky body. Tattoos peek out from under both sleeves, and it so tight that every fold and mound of flesh is clearly outlined under the T’s. One would not call him movie-star muscular—he has bulk that is more bar-bouncer frightening than inspiring, and though not quite fat, aggressive lumps and masses of flesh push the limits of that tortured shirt until at the shoulders, pectorals, belly, and sides it seemed ready to burst. Over his head hangs a banner that proudly advertises—ALCOHOL FREE EFES BEER SERVED HERE--though he himself does not look particularly alcohol free. He is friends with the couple who run the pink painted yoga studio on the other side of the alleyway. They lean out the window from time to time to shout down at him—requests for linden tea or a simple greeting. She is a frail girl with pale river-nymph skin and a bird-song voice. Her boyfriend is a lean serious faced twenty-something with curly hair that pours out of his scalp like a jungle vine.
The giant’s brother—nearly alike in hair style, body shape and fashion choices, manages the ALCOHOL FULL bar next door. The two brothers rarely speak. The brother’s bar is set into the four floors of a narrow Pre-Republic home (most likely Greek), with the usual cluster of tables out front in the street. Portraits of famous leftists cover every inch of the walls—reverent photos of Che Guevara, Deniz Geçmiş, Nazım Hikmet, Hrant Dink, and Lech Walesa. The shelves of the bar itself are lined with bottles he has collected from the eskici over the years—a Moldavian Brandy from the Soviet Years, an empty rakı bottle from the 40s, a jug of cheap wine from the U.S., unopened bottles of British Champagne. He has asked, but the eskici never tells him the secret of his finds. Where in the world does a collector of street junk come up with these extinct varieties of alcohol in a country rapidly clamping down on imbibing of all sorts?
|Maside Bar in Kadıköy|