Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hunting Bambi

“So, you come to these things often?”
What a line. Sparky clearly has a way with women. Bored and annoyed, I wrote my review of her off-handed seduction techniques in the form of bar snacks (çerez) thrown at her head.
“Ow. Ow! So... you’re a pianist?”
She ignored me and the flying pistachios admirably and kept on luring the wide-eyed little thing into her experienced bisexual lech. With that knowing smirk, she may as well have been asking, “Would you like to have your first lesbian experience, little girl?” To me at the time, it was disgusting. What could possibly be interesting to Sparky about this Girl Scout cookie? She was the kind of person who’s name I would forget before she even finished introducing herself, and the way she was dressed, it was as if she was trying to force me to underestimate her. She had her mousy blond hair back in a ponytail and was sporting a light pink sweatshirt paired with baby blue sneakers. She looked like a twenty-year-old infant. There were many things wrong with the scenario, but I got stuck on the sneakers.
“Sneakers? SNEAKERS?”
“Yeah, whatever, lots of people wear sneakers."
“Yeah, athletes and children. She didn’t look like an athlete, so that makes YOU a fuckin’ perv.”
I was being needlessly critical, I admit. Sparky sighed into a reminiscent smile.
“Didn’t you just fall into those big, doe-like eyes?”
“I wanted to hit her with a car.”
That’s how we came to name her, and others of her kind, Bambi.

Expat parties are an excellent hunting ground for Bambi’s -- those cute, fresh off the boat girls who just graduated college and came abroad to do the first interesting thing in their lives, which after getting their hearts broken once or twice by the charming locals, usually devolves into teaching English and hanging out exclusively with other expats. Lets get one thing straight: I am a traveler, not an expat.

What is an expatriate? And expatriate is a person who temporarily or permanently leaves their country and culture of upbringing to terrorize a foriegn one. As a function of their emigration, expats define themselves by their dissatisfaction. Most of them make a living teaching English and they seem to hang out mostly with each other, inventing incestuous little fuck circles in whatever country they infest. For further entertainment, they come up with other annoying amusements such as theater groups reeking of mediocrity and pub quiz trivia nights in all too expensive bars. They congratulate themselves on their internationality while never bothering to learn much of the local language or culture. Their adopted country is an organism off which they simply feed, all the while doing their best to recreate their homeland and inherently representing it, usually in an unflattering light with their bad cocktail of entitlement and cultural insensitivity. These embarrassing ambassadors come from all over the world, but when I find myself stuck at a loud and obnoxious pub quiz with drunk people spilling beer and arguing about George Lucas factoids while blank faced Turks look on with that same bored and slightly insulted lack of expression that I recognize from also having to serve people I despise, I can't help but sigh and think: "This is why the world hates Americans."

When in a sea of expats, hunting Bambi’s provides an excellent distraction from my fiery disdain. Besides, it’s good for me to maintain a certain level of sociability, even in “enemy” territory. Sparky has since illustrated to me that the pleasure in corrupting the innocent is like pissing on a freshly fallen and undisturbed bed of snow.

Several nights later, I stumbled into a bar to meet Sparky. I was two hours late and dragging in a girl by her tits.
“Whattya think of this Bambi I brought ya? I bet she’d fuck us both, the little slut.”
I slurred, not trying to flatter myself in the least.
“I dunno man. She’s not wearing sneakers. Sneakers kind of do it for me, Bambi-wise, remember?”
Wavering in my seat, I looked over my prey. I had already soul-slaughtered her and moved on to the victory parade wherein I offered her up to the scavengers as leftover kill. She was a hot mess with eyeliner was streaming down her face. I followed these black trails up puffy cheeks to two big wild eyes that expressed mixed emotions of humiliation and gratitude for the attention.

Most of the time, I work hard to be considerate of others, thoughtful, aware, and well spoken. But sometimes despite my efforts, I prove myself to be the most fucked-up asshole I know. On these occasions, I abandon my better, more articulate self and get in bed with a stranger to my standards who acts with wild selfishness. I don’t always get away with the crap I pull, but when I do, I wonder how. Amazingly, friends like Sparky have a high tolerance for my bullshit and chauvinism, even a certain revelry in it.
“You wan ‘er in sneakers? I’ll put ‘er in some fuckin’ sneakers. Let’s go, sugar tits. Daddy’s gonna get you some new shoes.”

For hot girl-on-girl action, check out the post Bisexual Women and Cattle Fetish.
The latest from Seduce and Confuse, here.


  1. Part 1:

    “The resemblance is remarkable.”

    It is a broad statement to say that expats are the terror of foreign locals. In the (Christian and Muslim) patriarchy that dominates today's culture, from style to law, "preaching" is a default mode. Everyone thinks they know better and best, and their gospel must be spread, lest the heathens do something out of the ordinary. Keep that in mind, now, as we move foward.

    Are all expats dissatisfied? Doubtful, though there is something to be said for inherent-ence (I’m coining that). Not inherent dissatisfaction, but rather inherent contrast. The expat is always living in a disconnected world. Whether or not they voluntarily disconnected, or were compelled beyond reasonable emotion, is another story. Who else do you know that feels disconnected all the time?

    Let's say they chose this life. They had job prospects in their home country. They had solid university degrees, families that loved them, and could even get girlfriends (imagine that). Why choose this life?

    How about student loans easily paid off by high-margin specialty jobs, like tutoring or nannying; the promise of a new and exciting culture; passion for teaching (most are teachers, but not all), interest in language, regional politics, and religion; or even just warm weather? There is certainly nothing wrong with those who would seek to leave their safe zones for the promise of greater understanding. Leaving that zone is a leap of faith by nature; not everything can be so calculated. The expat is not inherently broken.

    But so what if some are? Perhaps these people fled familial persecution, a broken heart, a dead job market, or simply intertia. Is it wrong to express dissatisfaction when it feels as if there is little choice? Sure, you can say there is always another way, but when push comes to shove, maybe this life had the least sacrifice, and offered a chance to heal. Who are you to deny them that, simply because you can't bear their frustration, or relate to it (ah, the irony)? When was the last time someone left their safe zone and truly did not seek out safety as a result?

    It's good that you've put yourself and your words out there. It takes some serious chutzpah (and a dash of blind ignorance) to throw the rocks you have. Certainly, from a self-declared standpoint of "The Traveler, Not the Expat." How would you know what it means?

    And glass houses, too, you know? You honestly would have stayed abroad, given the right opportunity. You made great new friends, and even fell in love with (dare I say) an expat. Just because he could do accents doesn't make him more foreign-friendly. In fact, HE grew up in probably the most international environment possible, and still chooses not to learn the language or embrace the culture. Certainly that says something about him, but what does that say about you and your attack? Conflict of interest, maybe? Willful ignorance? (Oh, hello Irony, welcome back).

    There is a sense of community we all crave. It is our nature, and many of us deny ourselves what we really want, for fear or insecurity. These particular expats use admittedly mediocre theater groups and insular pub quizzes to further bond an already insular group.

    But after a year of theater, I've noticed the plays getting markedly better, the last even focusing on and tearing the "stereotypical expat" a new one. And after a year of quizzes, I've realized that, much the same as any creature of habit, the support each person gains from knowing where and who your community is is a boon to destress living in a city of 17 million people, a place loneliest when you are surrounded by anonymity. I'm sure 3 months, 1 quiz, and a lack of actually seeing any of the shows taught you the same. Wait...

    (See Part 2, Google doesn't allow more than 4,096 characters per reply).

    1. Part 2:

      Yes, melding with the local culture would help with anonymity, but if you think that’s the answer you haven’t been listening.

      And yes, there are plenty of folks that pat their own backs in an effort to overcome a sense of ignorance imbued by living abroad. But make no mistake, these people are growing experts by virtue of their unique experience. Most do not stay long enough to learn much beyond this first step of recognizing that they do not know anything about anything, and the ones that do often grow embittered by the disconnect created from so much time away from their past lives and communities and familiarities. Yet there are those that have, in fact, learned the language, traveled the region, and even taught and learned valuable skills, despite the crutch of self-soothing required to emerge from the cocoon.

      This, while so many wait out the economic crisis in their parents' spare room.

      The point is, if you’ve made it this far into the deep end, you are the same. You know nothing of anything but a glimpse into another universe from a vacational (excuse me, "Traveler") perspective, and instead of immersion into it to understand it better (obviously the expats interest you), you criticize. That seems to me a dangerous perch. Often, the only people confident enough to criticize something so trivial are those that know so little that they don't realize they know nothing.

      Expats cannot fly by the seat of their pants, as you have in your time in Turkey, and as most Turks do. The economic crisis of 10 years ago has left a Turkish country that is deliberately ignorant of the future for fear of patience unrewarded, having crashed so low that it can only get better......until it can't. Its society is filled with young, ignorant, wholly uneducated people who believe that everything will be fine in the end because it is now. Sounds similar to your American entitlement. With so much irony the title of this response oughta be “Alanis Morrisette’s Roller Coaster.”

      (See Part 3 next)

    2. Part 3:

      Thing about it all is, Americans are some of the greatest people on the planet. They are courteous, thoughtful, empathetic, polite, and ambitious, and not without patriotism (though certainly that pales next to Turkish militant nationalism; we won't fault the Turks, since free thought is borderline illegal in Turkey). That they come from a society built on individualism is both their greatest strength and most abrasive feature, contributing to a willful ignorance because it is a luxury.........but you of all people, Ms. River Name, should see empathy on those kinds of folks. The world doesn't hate Americans. Most love Americans, and aspire to be in America, Turks in particular. The same Turks that project the most over the top egos of any nation I've experienced, the mini-fortess-populated America included.

      Throughout all of the mess that is current events, America remains the land of opportunity. Those that do hate America take that position because America is the top, the New York Yankees, the favorite in any match (except soccer, of course...). The British Empire was once the same. Those people hate America because it's popular, because America gets to decide what it wants to be, can never choose to be what every person wants, and isn't tied to any deep history or homogeneous race. No other country in the world can claim that. Some for the better, such as the Netherlands or Sweden. Others.....

      Turkey is not the place to be. It's economy runs too hot, relying too much on national projects funded by a corrupt religious government that isn't trusted by Western countries and Arabs, alike. It's young people are uneducated and lazy, with more than a few living at home well into their thirties, and with more than a few expats making a living either teaching them or doing their work for them. It's food is boring, unoriginal, and lacks diversity. Istanbul, it's greatest city, is not cared for at all, with ruins in ruins and scarcely a park to be found in it's sprawling, Gotham-filth metropolis, punctuated mostly by its unwavering and suffocating desire to be, wait for it......more western! Maybe expats just figure out quickly that Turkish is useless and unnecessary, Turkish culture is boring and unexciting, and Turks are lazy and unmotivating. I will give the Turks some credit: their produce is top notch and cheap, and their hospitality is excellent (though it pales compared to the rest of the Arab world).

      All the same, it doesn’t surprise me that that's not enough to convince a group of people from a fully-functioning homeland that immersion is the best path.

      Turkey is overrated, expats need love, too, and your rhetoric is ironic.

  2. Jesus H Chris. I think.. I think I might be in love with Slater..