Monday, September 5, 2016


It's the standard con. Blame the other. Warn the mark about the ones over there. Don't trust them. Implicit in the cautionary tale is the presumption that you can trust us not them. It's a standard trope that any world traveller, well worldly wise world traveller, will instantly recognise. My old girlfriend Anne Moran n I had a term for it no matter where we were. In fact it became short hand for scam artists -apologies to all the honest decent Turks in question: Anatolia man. Out backpacking the Turkish coast in those halcyon days before the beaches - we left our safe European homes for - were bespoiled by the bodies of Syrian kids, the gravest threat we faced were the herds of men attracted siren like by Anne's red hair. And adding to the allure of the red hair was Anne's spellbinding asset.
"Ms Anne you look like Ms Pam."
That's Pam from Dallas.
Far away Dallas. But that was cool. Sanitised. Safe. American Dream.
No. No. Come here Ms Anne. (I was on the borderline of being tolerated and ignored. And I also seemed to serve as a guide to what was sexually acceptable: if I put my arm around Anne, beach Lothario felt he could too. But every move came with a cautionary tale:
Beware Anatolia Man.
Anne's legions of admirers and Anatolia cautioners grew vastly when food poisoning laid me low.
Back on my feet two days later, it was near impossible to pay for a meal or groceries.
Everything was a present for Ms Anne. The more genuine the gift the less intense the warning about Anatolia man.
A couple of his greatest foes, however, rendered our life impossible. They wld follow our every move. They wld lie beside Anne on the beach whispering sweet warnings of Antolia man. Out snorkelling with conveniently loaned flippers n mask, I wld look to shore to see Anne's red hair sandwiched on her towel by two black haired gents. Both whispering terrifying tales of Anatolia man as they inched up the towel.
Too much.
The next day we hopped the bus to Istanbul.
20 hrs later we walk out of an Istanbul bus station.
Only to hear a taxi horn blaring.
"Ms Anne, Ms Anne," a man screamed.
"Beware Anatolia man!" the taxi driver screamed.
Actually that's a lie.
He screamed
"Ms Anne I meet you in Dacha," referring to the coastal down we had just left.
During a wonderful week in Istanbul, we ended up in a late night bar. A wild dive joint. Dwarfs dancing on tables. A reek of underworld. Around the same time I noticed our dodgy drinking partners were packing pistols I realised they were not asking me the price of my hotel room. But how much for a sojourn with Ms Anne in a hotel room. As I informed Anne Anatolia man was actually at the table, bad lieutenant was warning me about the local Anatolia men. I forgot his name.
But we got out of that scrape and many others around the world.
In far flung villages in the Vietnamese highlands, it was beware Saigon Man. And Saigon scammers wld say beware Cambodia Man.
And always throughout the following decade or so, whether talking to the local policeman or late night tuk tuk driver, we wld the supposed friendly warning that actually signalled dodgy intent.
Beware Anatolia Man.
Watch out for the other, I caution, as I rob you.
So when it comes to that racist, rapist lying cheating, daughter leching, hate spewing, tax hiding piece of filth that is #DonaldTrump, I got one thing to say - and with apologies to the good people of Asian Turkey:
And be very fucking aware of that Yankee Nationalist Socialist

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