Oct 1, 2014: Adam and His Evil Eyes

We arrived in Istanbul Friday night. And early Saturday morning, when we went to explore. Adam had spaced out and was staring down the street, without a care in the world. An old woman was walking towards us, and she started to look unhappy. As she finally walked by us, she glared at adam, muttered under her breath and traced a cross in the air in front of her with two fingers before scuttling off. My mouth opened involuntarily as I realized what had happened. I’d read about it before we came here, out of curiosity. She was warding off the evil eye, and I guess she thought Adam was cursing her with it.

When she was out of earshot, I elbowed Adam and told him what had happened as he stared off into space. He didn’t believe me. So I dragged him home to our computers and pulled up the wikipedia page.

The short version is that, throughout the Middle East, parts of Asia, and Eastern Europe, there is a superstition that you can curse someone by staring at them maliciously, or for too long, etc. It’s also believe that people with unusual eye colours for the region (including green, but particularly blue eyes) are more powerful/better at this. Anyplace you can find amulets and charms that look like a flat blue eyeball generally have the superstition. The amulets and charms are used to ward off the evil eye.

Adam has blue eyes.
And he was staring down the street in the general direction of this old woman. She (naturally) assumed he was giving her the evil eye and crossed herself to ward it off. Hence why she looked so annoyed.

So now I’m stuck travelling with a blue eyed man who has a penchant for staring off into the distance for minutes at a time while he thinks.

Maybe I should pick up one of those amulets.