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2006 Summer in Turkey

by Trudy (1/6/2009)

From Dogubayazit back home



Wednesday June 21st: Trabzon – Sumela v.v. (92 kilometres)

            Nine o’clock I awake, not completely fit again. I repack my backpack; the carpet from Cetin needs to get in. Five to ten I go down for breakfast. The receptionist asks if I want to visit Sumela Monastery today, the bus will arrive in ten minutes. Yes please, so just a cup of coffee and a sandwich will do.

            Sumela monastery is at 50 minutes drive from Trabzon. We get three hours to look around, and then the bus will go back. To look at means first a climb of 45 minutes over a steep path. Happily I am not the only tourist taking a break once and a while, to get some air in my lungs… Two other passengers, Merve and Özge, are students of a tourist school. They do not know much yet about this monastery but just talking is nice as well. Two others are Jae Yon from South Korea and Itzik from Israel. The five of us have a drink after looking around. The Greek-Orthodox monastery from Byzantine times is very beautiful. The fresco’s – though scratched a lot – are in good state. Pity they are renovating the building. It means that a part is closed by scaffolding but also that these things make it difficult to take a nice picture. While walking up, I receive a sms from Cetin who asks how I am doing and if I still remember him… Back in Trabzon I have lunch with Itzik.

            The rest of the afternoon I just walk around a bit and spend a lot of time in a pastane. In a bookstore, looking for an English thriller, I find to my surprise a dozen Dutch thrillers and novels. My questions about the why here, is not understood. So many Dutch will not visit Trabzon I guess? Of course I buy myself, fresh books for reading at the airport and in the plane are welcome. They also sell books in other languages, many Russian titles (not so strange according to the many Russians here), English, French and even Spanish books. Such a wide orientated bookstore I have not seen before, not even in Istanbul.

            I am tired, just tired and a bit Turkey-tired. I want to go home! (Or back to Do├░obayazit of course…). I absolutely have no interest in anything to do and to kill time I chat for a while with friends. I am already in bed when I get a goodnight sms with many kisses.


Thursday June 22nd: Trabzon

            Also this morning I get my wake-up call by a sweet sms from Cetin (if this continues, he will get a huge telephone bill, but I hope he will). Too late for breakfast, I go into town. Suddenly I see the Black Sea. In a pavilion next to the water, I have breakfast. I like to walk along the boulevard next to the sea but I find myself stopped by bulldozers. The road is being restored. Into town, to the part of the bazaar I have not been to. I want a wooden jewellery box, with or without silver. In other cities I saw beautiful ones but I did not buy them then because I had to take it with me all the time. Stupid, I should have done. The ones here are much too much kitsch. The lokum I like to buy for my Japanese friends I cannot find. Fresh one, yes, but I want the pre-packed, easier to mail. Maybe tomorrow at one of the airports they will have.

            The grilled salmon is a nice change for the kebab, köfte and döner I had the last weeks. Though delicious, sometimes those dishes were to fat for my stomach. The afternoon I spend reading in my Dutch thriller in café Keyif where they have many kinds of coffee. The Colombian latte tastes very good.

            Abdullah calls to ask how I am doing and at what time I will arrive at the airport in Amsterdam. He is not sure yet but he will try to pick me up. That would be great. Then I can tell someone who knows Turkey very well my story. Abdullah knows what I am talking about; he is born here and lived here until he was 27.

            Again a sms from Cetin that he wants to be with me and hopes he can meet me in Holland soon. Will I keep some space for him in my house, he asks?


Going Back HOME


Friday June 23rd: Trabzon – Istanbul – Amsterdam – Rotterdam

            I did not get an answer to my good night sms yesterday. Also the sms I sent Cetin about an hour before leaving Trabzon remains unanswered. During my flight to Istanbul, my cell phone is off, of course, but even during the waiting time there I get no reaction.

            The lokum I find indeed at Atatürk Airport, even sugar free for my mother. In the plane I suddenly realize I bought not enough. I forgot three packages for the Masa’s. Waiting in Istanbul is not for long, just enough time for a quick lunch and some shopping. The plane leaves late, half an hour delay. According to the message of the pilot we will be in time in Amsterdam, it is only four hours flying instead of the five that is on my reservation form. While waiting, I send Cetin another sms. Again no answer, darned!

            On Schiphol Amsterdam Airport Abdullah calls. He is on his way. I am still waiting for my luggage so no problem. Customs I pass without any problems. Abdullah calls again, he is arrived, where am I? We just missed each other on this large and disordered airport. Indeed, next to the information desk Abdullah is waiting for me. He shakes my hand to welcome me. He says he missed me. My heavy backpack he takes, I am not allowed to carry it myself – like I did not do that the last five weeks! We put that backpack in the trunk of his car and go to Rotterdam.

            He goes into my apartment with me so I can give him his present, the silver tespih (rosary) from Mardin. He seems surprised. He kisses me on the cheek. That is very special because being religious he is not allowed to touch me as a woman. Not that he is so strict in this according to me, he sometimes visits me alone and shakes hands as well. When I once asked him about that, he said it is not allowed. He did and does it nevertheless, Allah will punish him later, he says. When he sees my carpet, he tells me it is pure wool and hand painted. Definitely good quality. I suspect he knows, he is from the same region, I├░dir and that is only 65 kilometre away from Do├░ubayazit. I tell him about my vacation and me being in love. He is happy for me, because I am so happy. He even says that when he is visiting his family in I├░dir next year, Cetin and I should visit him.

            Late at night when I am sitting tired on the couch I start thinking. Am I so wrong? Is Cetin just a Turkish asshole who used me? Who thinks whenever she is out of the country, I do not have to do anything? One does not give to every tourist a carpet as a present? One does not send many sms after leaving telling someone you miss her and wanting to be with her? Or am I impatient and do I want too much, too quickly? I do not want to be pushy so I will not ask before tomorrow again. I hope so I am mistaken. Yes, I am wrong. Happily. Around ten o’clock I get a sms that he just got all my messages because he was out of town and was not within reach. He likes to hear that I am safe home again and says he will never forget me. I can sleep again. My vacation is over but the memories will stay. I hope there will be more Turkish memories. Time will tell…

(How it ended was clear 3 months later: lies en deceit…)

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From Erzurum to Dogubayazit (and surroundings)

1. From Ankara to Malatya
2. From Malatya to Adana
3. From Adana to Elazig
4. From Elazig to Erzurum
5. From Erzurum to Dogubayazit (and surroundings)
6. From Dogubayazit back home

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