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On the Istanbul Express

February 28, 2009

Travelling home on the U8, I recently saw for the first time ever in Berlin a lady wearing a Burqa. She couldn’t have been more than 21 and was holding hands with a similarly young bearded man, chatting away happily. It’s funny how much the eyes betray.

Not many people seemed to stare at this rare occurance: On what’s known as the ‘Istanbul Express’, it’s not unusual to see ladies with some sort of head covering. However, this being only the second time ever that I’ve seen someone wearing the black, cloak-like covering, showing only the eyes, I was intrigued and couldn’t help but stare.

I wanted to ask so many questions: “Why are you wearing that?” “Do you wear it all the time?” “How do people react to your appearance?” “Do you feel oppressed?”… Of course, I didn’t and got off at my stop, leaving her to continue her (muffled) conversation with the young bearded man.

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