We got to the border with an Iranian truck driver (what a chance, we could go all the way to Iran!). Hitchhiking that day was not very difficult, nevertheless we were supposed to enter Turkey in the twilight. There is a lot of stories about traveling in this country: friends claim it is the easiest place to get a lift, people are very hospitable and there is a great tea culture. They say that it is also impossible to be hungry among Turkish people. On the other hand what in Europe is considered being friendly here can be misinterpret by a driver, so girls should pay some extra attention.
We spend a night in the land of no one, in the duty free zone. In the morning we grab the coffee from the free drink machine, we cross the bridge, cope with all the papers and wooopa “Welcome to Turkey”. Let’s check out ourselves how it is!
We jumped back under the customs roof. They usually do not like to have hitchhikers there but not in this case! Without a word we got offered a hot tea and what is more they even organized a ride for us all the way to Istanbul. Wow, that was extremely fast, we barely started drinking our tea and now we are jumping in the truck on the bumpy road trying not to spill the liquid all around.
Four in the cabin we stop for a famous corba (soup), next caj (tea) and the most hilarious “cup” of water I have ever seen – in a yogurt container!
In Istanbul we go for “burek”. A young gentlemen offers us an extra one, smiles and leaves the place. It is very impressive. Big cities tend to be anonymous, people take part in the rat race, there is no time for socializing, smiling on the street, offerings. Istanbul has 13 millions inhabitants (without the suburbs) and we lived through many acts of kidness.
The city is fascinating, but we had only 3 days to breath the atmosphere. Banu and Ross helped us a lot accepting our emergency call for hosting. We wandered around the streets and markets enjoying the smells, tastes, colors and sounds. It turned out that we have got lots of friends in town. Duygo and her boyfriend gave us a great introduction to the Turkish cuisine (vegetarian cig kofte and baklava conquered by heart), Umit and Virginia invited us for a small hitchgathering with a great dinner and even Alex who we met in Slovakia accompanied us with the bottle of wine few hours before the flight.
And then we flew, leaving magical Turkey behind us towards the next land of spices and colors.