In celebration of surviving the impromptu BBQ yesterday, I decided to take another step towards being a Turkish man.
The other day I was wearing a rather tatty t-shirt with holes in various places. A friend of mine saw some hair protruding from an armpit hole and made a lunge for it.
"You animal! You filthy animal!" he commented. "Why do you not shave this?". Enter my cousin stage left to join the ruck.
"You've never shaved this? Never?" asked my cousin in amazement.
"Never" I said. "In England it's only really women, gay men and cyclists who shave their armpits" I joked nervously.
"Are you saying I look gay?" asked my intimidatingly masculine friend.
"Erm, no. Not at all."
So today I took the plunge. Following a full debriefing (almost literally) I was armed with the knowledge of how Turkish men preen themselves. Into the bathroom I trotted with a Gillette sensor excel 2, some shaving cream and a concerned look.
First the armpits. Not half as bad as I thought it would be. It got a little sore after hacking away at 17 years of growth but that was nothing to the pain of applying the lemon cologne. This was an assumption I'd made which I fear was wrong.
Next, after a swig of raki, I was ready to tackle the tackle. Turkish men like to keep their bits and pieces nice and tidy so, with an 'in for a New Kurus in for a New Turkish Lira' attitude, I lowered the Gillette. You might remember the first time you took a razor to your face. Remember how you thought you'd cut your ears off? Well when you take a razor to your Jacobs you start again from scratch, and you know the stakes are higher.
Amazingly, everything went according to plan (not that I really had a detailed plan, it was more a voyage of discovery). I did, however, learn from the armpit fiasco and omitted the lemon cologne. Despite having the Macc Lads lyric "he can splash Brut all over his bollocks" repeating in my head, I fear I'm not that man.
Watch this space as my family and friends continue their insistance that, in order to truly become Turkish, I have to be circumsized. If you listen closely, you can hear my uncle sharpening his nail scissors.
Yours with a spring in my step and a shaving rash on my inner thigh.