Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Along the black sea

Written in a georgian truck and then a turkish one.
If you want action-packed stories you'll have to wait a little while. Or wait a lot. We certainly are not here for your entertainment. So far our stories are the ones of emotional truck drivers. The last one took us towards Samsun from Bolu but it was so slow we never got there. It is commonly known among hitchhikers that you shouldn't hitchhike with Turkish trucks. They are too heavy and average a speed of 60km/h.
Ilona was complaining we were moving too slow since she wants to be in Kamchatka in 3 months. It's quite unusual because usually I am the one who wants to hurry.
The good truck driver bought us lunch and made us dinner with home-made giant bread fresh from the bakery. It was still warm when we ate it.
The trip continued slowly but surely, sometimes sleeping sometimes talking pseudo-turkish. Sometimes I had to hide from the police so I hid while eating cherries on semi-pornographic magazines. Don't ask.
Our truck driver bought us this giant bread-EKMEK

We are still travelling on a complete zero-budget for turkey and a 4 euro budget. For breakfeast we still rely on the great plum djam from Irina's brother (still forgot the name, shame on me), we have plenty of bread to put it on from our various invitations to restaurants. We also have plenty of water from the countless 50cl bottles that our drivers buy us. We still havrn't touched our apple juice. Lunches and dinners are on invitation and we have enough of those. We refuse them fiercly because Ilona is afraid of looking needy but I think the Turks are often happier when the invitations are accepted.
We desperately need someone to invite us home because I need a shower.
That invitation could just be this piece of paper our good truck driver gave us. We should visit his friend in Samsun, and give him this. No way to know what was written there, I could deciefer something about friend:arkadas and help:yirmi. Btw thanks so much Hana and Zevla for help!
We slept in a field very far from everything because Ilona had a bad feeling about that night. Ilona is paranoid about Turkey in general, it might be because one guy she hitchhiked with to there was a complete tool. But there were a bunch of Turks who told us that someone is going to cut our throats but if I got a dollar each time I heard that...
Still, we were careful.
We made the few kilometers left to Samsun in a Georgian truck with a russian speaking driver.
"You travel without money to Iran? Are you stupid? I give you 10 000 dollars if you
end this madness now!"
Zurab, the only true Democrat
Zurab the Georgian democrat (and maybe the only true democrat as he said) tried to discourage us. He invited us into the only true democracy which was his truck. All other countries were ran by Putin maybe except America which was run by an equally evil dictator. I was labeled an idealist because I tried to express the idea that some countries had different level of dictatorship and France was kind of a democracy.
However, the Georgian seemed to talk from experience.
"Do you have temperature? I must look for thermometer!", he exclaimed in Russian after he heared my thoughts, "France democracy? You brainwashed. France Italia Czech Republic all Russia. All europe Russia. All mixed in cup like chocolate. Putin not like europe, europe kaputt. No chocolate. No europe. Idealist young people. Stalin, Hitler, all Idealists. Lenin, he was a true Democrat."
I actually think he spoke good russian but he had to simplify for us. I won't even try to express my russian here.
It's true though I do have a naive understanding of the world but I pointed out that Stalin is a Georgian national icon so the label wasn't that bad coming from a Georgian was it?
He was a straight up guy with both feet on the ground or should I say the accelerator and, let's say it again, a true democrat. We said we are democrats too.
I think we are, what else could we be?
In Samsun we tried to figure out what that piece of paper the truck driver from yesterday gave us was for. I posted a translation cry for help on facebook in the morning. The address pointed to some Casino. Were we supposed to go into a Casino in Samsun and ask for this random Rifat guy. And what was he supposed to do? What if the note said "Off with their heads" or something like that?
Fisherman in a philosophical mood

At a local restaurant we asked or help to find this place and we got a personal driver who tried to locate that casino for us. Without success unfortunatelly. So they made us half a liter of turkish tea, offered us ice cream and invited us to a fish restaurant. We refused three times in a row, energically. This is crazy, how is it possible for tourists to spend money in Turkey? We offer to pay each time we get someting and they don't even seem to understand the concept.
In an attempt to communicate with us they called some friends who spoke english on the phone. They also got me on a chat where people spoke german and turkish. So I spoke german on the chat and turkish with our hosts, it was a language mess.
We wanted to hitchhike out of Samsun, hopefully with a private car instead of a truck because they are too slow. And because a private car could head home and invite us in for.. a shower!!! But a truck stopped anyway so we might only get an invitation to a good restaurant. Damn. However they are rivers on the way, we might just camp nearone. The coast near the black sea is beautiful, the mountains are falling into the salty water.
Dinner on the road: This is my friend the animal, said our driver