Fat-Bottomed Dames will go Shopping Today

Kazanlak Pazar, BulgariaI’ve started shopping at the pazar near my house. I am a great lover of food pazars and farmers markets, and generally assume that everybody feels the same excitement about them that I do.

Not my boyfriend. I sweetly asked him if he wished to accompany me to the bazaar so that we may feast on the scent of perfectly ripe strawberries, buy farm-fresh produce for pennies, and look everywhere for fennel, which I have yet to see in Turkey but am still hoping is just not in season.

“No,” said he, “I don’t like pazars. I prefer grocery stores even though they are more expensive.”

Incredible. “Bu-but why?” I stammered, wondering momentarily if we were truly meant to be at all. Besides being more expensive, grocery stores sell a limited selection of produce, most of which looks not sufficiently crunchy or juicy as the case may be.

“I don’t like Turkish ladies with fat asses.”


“Old Turkish ladies with big butts take up all the space between the stalls and they never move aside for you. They are very inconsiderate. They feel like they own the pazar.”

Since people bumping into him without acknowledging his presence is truly Adem’s number one pet-peeve and is not specific to bazaars, I acquiesced and went alone. It was not busy, and I was not inconvenienced by any fat-assed Turkish ladies. There were also very few full-grown men shopping, and most of the ones I did see appeared to be accompanied by a woman.

Turkey as a society is generally very patriarchal, particularly (though not exclusively) among the older generations. In these generations, women who have never worked outside the home are common, and it stands to reason that their skill at cooking, cleaning, and caring for children make up a big part of their self-worth and conceptions of their own competence. It is therefore understandable, though perhaps not reasonable, that they may consider the bazaar a space to which they are entitled.

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  1. Arianne says:

    Can I just say that I love all of your descriptions? I’m so glad I stumbled across your site after you left a comment on mine.

    • Kate says:

      Thank you 🙂 I really enjoy your blog too actually. Have been reading for a while, but this was my first time commenting.


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