Sunday, October 20, 2013

Back to Turkey and feeling blessed

While waiting with two backpacks in Istanbul otogar (main bus station) alone, as Adley was running between different bus companies to check bus tickets time and price towards the Black Sea coast,  I was suddenly approached by two teenage girls walking passed after their friends. They gave me a friendly smile and suddenly hugged me with kisses on both of my cheeks, one by one, and walked away!!! It was sweet but left me rather confused. 

After an overnight bus ride from Istanbul towards Bartin, an early connecting bus took us to Amasra, we walked a little bit around the small seaside town and managed a rather long lift to Sinop, where we stayed for a night. 

In Sinop, we found a pansion in a convenience location. Price was fair but we still tried to bargain. The owner stood firm on the rate but offered us home cuisine and Turkish tea all the time.  We tried freshly made Barack, fig jam, paprika dip, tomato nut dip and got so many cooking tips. Her kitchen cum reception cum living room is always fragranced with food.

We are at the right time of Bayram in Turkey, and witnessed the animal butchering ceremony in Sinop the next day. Sheep and cows are contributed by the wealthy ones. Butchers then killed and cut in public with the raw meat given out to poor people. It's a rather unusual event to watch, though not for the faint hearted and probably vegetarians. There was a lot of blood, some struggle but not much heart breaking cries. We heard that usually after Bayram, there will always be a day of rain. Seems that God has his way to clean the land.

Later at night, we watched news about runaway cows and injured helpers during the ceremony all around Turkey.  Our friend laughed that this always happened every year. Such great escape is almost an entertainment.

Getting lucky with hitchhiking on the first day, we confirmed our impression of how easy it is to hitchhike in Turkey. Hence, we insisted to try our luck again.

Two lift with not too long waiting took us 110km from Sinop to Samsun.

When we were hitchhiking today, from Sinop to Gerze, something bizarre happened. Two girls stopped their car in front of us, but instead of taking us a lift, she passed me a mobile phone. It was her curious friend in Trabzon, saying hi to me and probably trying her English. 

We waited a little while more and met a beautiful couple Dilek and Adem, who only got married two months ago and having a little excursion from Sinop directly to Samsun. We exchanged emails and we were invited to their place if we were in Sinop again! They handed us to our CS host in Samsun and left. 

The unlimited hospitality we received here made us feel so blessed and well taken care of!

So we are absolutely fine.

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