Back in Istanbul, Cagaloglu Hamam supervisor, Melis shooed the girls back to work. All was a bubble about the newbie being posted to the Kuala Lumpur hamam in a few months time. Lucky or bad timing?
"She is having family problems, you know?" whispered one of the girls'. "She hardly sees her husband, now this."
The boss had conferred with Melis about the best girl to send to KL. "Feriha is the best choice. She daydreams about travelling. This will make her happy." Honey Bee offered, giving her treacle-coated smile to Onan, her boss.
It had started two years ago. Melis was still a senior massage girl in the steam room. She enjoyed her work and usually stayed late, on the off chance she would catch a word with the boss as he checked on the days takings.
She mused to herself, "Hmmm, Onan means prosperous, and he is. I think he will promote me soon to supervisor. I deserve it. I have worked hard for it."
"Melis, working late as usual?" chanted Onan, counting the Turkish lire as he licked his index finger.
"The girls need supervision, they are sloppy if not checked" Honey Bee baited the boss.
"I am expanding the business, Melis. I am looking to open a hamam overseas. Our Malaysian tourists are some of our best customers. Datin Quraishah, married to a VIP and politician has made me an offer to be her partner. What do you think Melis?"
"He is asking me?" thought Melis excited as a honey bee hovering over a honey pot. "If the location is good, it would certainly be something to consider."
Impressed by her focus on location, Onan continued, "She owns a large space in a shopping complex in an affluent part of KL. So yes it is an excellent location. How clever you are Melis."
"Well my father, Rustem, is a hamam tile maker, and he always used to say, location is most important for a business to prosper. Maybe you could get him to provide the tiles for your new hamam," Melis surprised herself with this suggestion. "Why not help father's business too?" she rationalised.
A visit to Kuala Lumpur was arranged by the KL partner-to-be. Melis and Onan boarded the Malaysian Airlines flight MH 0031 at three in the afternoon.