The Law of Unintended Consequences

I was frazzled after my experience of passing through Istanbul Airport. My friend Elaine who turned up not long after I checked into my hotel was frazzled too from the harassment she had experienced in the Central Market.

Constant harassment, as we were soon to learn, ıs a fact of life on the streets of Istanbul. It is not pleasant.

That evening we went out to eat. The first restaurant we passed the guy harassed us and tried to drag us in. That and the fact the place was empty put us off eating there. But we ended up eating there nevertheless as we were too tired and hungry to wander around looking for anywhere else.

The food was good, but the guy would not leave us alone.

When we left, he followed us to the taxi and when Elaine and her friend got in, to my horror, he jumped in too. It all happened too quick for me to do anything.

Luckily nothing untoward happened. But the next day I told Elaine and her friend they had been very foolish to let this guy travel with them, that this was the Middle East and that in future they must be a lot more careful.

From then on every time I passed this restaurant I had this guy harassing me. First it was for their telephone numbers and room number, then their surname as he had been up to their hotel and been unable to contact them as the hotel quite rightly refused to divulge client details. He did not ask for this information he demanded it, then got angry when I refused to give it to him

By now I had had enough. I had already had all day being harassed on the street. The owner came out and asked was there a problem. I said yes, I was being harassed.

Late that night I walked by and the owner beckoned me ın. He was very apologetıc, said I would not have the problem again as the guy who was causing the problem had been fired.

Rough justice, yes, but the problem orıgınated withe the foolish behaviour, let us be honest, crass stupidity, of Elaine’s friend. This is the Middle East. You do not send out the wrong signals to men. For some women attention from men goes to their head. She was asking him to dance went up and danced with him. Thanks to her thoughtless behaviour and lack of respect for the culture and norms of another country, the guy got the sack.

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