Saturday, June 8, 2013

How we got a shower

Written on a mountain side, around Uzungol.
You wouldn't expect, in a country as friendly as Turkey, to be saved by a foreigner. It might be because Ilona systematically pushes me into refusing turkish hospitality because she feels bad about it, it might just be bad luck but we haven't spent a night in a Turkish home just yet.
Our showering situation has become so desperate that we have even resorted to couchsurfing a few days to solve it. And did I mention that after our last drying attempt, our clothes have now holes burned in them?
We got a quick reply from Nesli living in Cayeli, about 100 kilometers from Trabzon.
The couchsurfing was supposed to happen this evening; so early in the afternoon, when we finally went down from the mountains, we started to hitchhike towards Trabzon, about 40 kilometers away.
We got a lift from Denis, a guy from Alberta (Canada) who was working in Ankara for a few months and had gone to the trabzon region for the week end.
He's been to the protests in Ankara and has been pepper sprayed pretty bad. Milk and lemon juice for the burns, that's a useful information for all intents and purposes.
Another view of trabzon harbour
He had a rented car and was the same kind of explorer of random places as we are.
So we explored the region in his car, taking breaks to take photographs.
He was the kind of guy with plenty of ideas and a joyful mood, Ilona was kind of taken with the character.
Afterwards he kindly invited us into his hunderd-star hotel in central Trabzon. Shower time. Oh yeah!
The reception people were surprised and genuinly scared to see us enter the premises, one of the reception people even followed us to the room and try to ask us (in turkish) if we were planning to stay for the night. After I told him we'll be out of his way in one hour he breathed of relieved and returned to his duties.
After showering Denis invited us to dinner at some great restaurant and we ate like it was the only food of the week which wasn't so far from the truth actually. We probably seemed like hungry animals and Denis must've felt lucky we didn't eat him as well.
It was showered and full that we said goodbye to our Canadian saviour and continued towards Rize and Cayeli, Nesli's home town. Nesli seemed a little uptight in her text messages so we hurried as much as we could to be there on time. We later learned that she wasn't uptight at all, she just had some bad experiences with couchsurfers.
Hitchhiking in this region proved surprisingly difficult. We witnessed passing cars for ages, almost like in europe. We finally resorted to hitch a truck (which are slow) only to Rize.
Hitchhiking in Rize sucked even more. We got there at night and only got a lift from some weirdo witha truck who tried to grab Ilona's breasts while helping her to get out. We should've have known that he was weird when he said that "├žocuk yok!", "no children". When a Turk has no children then you know something is wrong with him. Either he is a weirdo or he knows a little too much about birth control but in most cases, it's the first choice.
We will avoid the ├žocuk-yok guys as much as possible in the future. Anyway this weirdo only got us to the exit of Rize where we waited for ages with taxis and buses bothering us endlessly until some happy family decided to take us to Cayeli even though they weren't going there at all. They gave us their facebook and emails but we lost them. Hopefully they'll contact us on their own.
"We don't go to Cayeli but we'll get you there anyway"
We met with Nesli a little late but she was here and she was great. And by all wonders of the world, she spoke english! We slept at her boyfriends in a huge appartment, washed our clothes (they don't seem that bad once they are burned and washed) and got a giant turkish breakfest. The morning after, we were on our way, east towards Ardesen.
East, yes, but temporarily. We're still waiting for our iranian visa, so we'll return the same way west.
Breakfest in Cayeli with Nesli and her boyfriend

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