Category Archives: Turkey

Time spent in Turkey

A Turkish Delight – Part II

From Izmir we had three hitches that took us to Pamukkale.  Through olive groves and rolling hills filled with fig and orange trees.  No power lines or billboards just complete rural beauty.  I finally felt like we were seeing the real Turkey.

We were not initially planning to go to Pamukkale but our drivers highly suggested it.  One of our rides didn’t speak any English but showered us with gifts.  They even gave each of us our own enormous ruby red pomegranate.

Pamukkale was absolutely stunning.  Pamukkale is a town that sits beneath natural hot springs and travertines that terrace on the side of a hill.  Pictures simply do it no justice.  Walking up the terraces to the ruins of an ancient Roman city you are required to take your shoes off.  The water gets warmer as you escalate up the hill.  People can swim for free in the limestone pools or can pay to go to the small spa that is at the top in the Roman ruins.  I felt very lucky to be in Pamukkale on this day because it was the first day with a good sun since the trip began.

We left Pamukkale in high spirits and headed for our next destination; ANKARA.  For some reason, this day was much more difficult hitchhiking.  Meaning it took longer to get rides and the rides we did get couldn’t take us very far.  By the time we made it to Afyon, two hours south of Ankara, it was dark.  It had been such a strenuous, long day and we were very tired and didn’t know what to do next.

These situations always bring up differences in opinion and debates.  Sometimes it can be difficult and in other cases agreeable.  Another positive dynamic in our group is that rarely things are taken personally.  If someone wants to do something that no one else wants to do then they do it.  Once four we were now two.  Jordan headed to meet a couchsurfer in Ankara while Todd and I planned our next move.

First things first, something to eat.  While we were enjoying our döners (Turkish kebab) we made a plan to go straight to Cappadocia (6 hour bus ride away).  We did not have internet access and most of the people we tried talking to did not speak English.  However, we were confident and are certainly used to these kinds of situations where you really do not know what to do next.  While I was trying to translate Turkish directions from the restaurant manager a young couple my age asked where we were trying to go.

“Well,” I looked at Todd. “I guess we are trying to go to the bus station.”

“Come sit down.”

We didn’t have anywhere else to be or go so we sat with them.  Santiego and Gülçin ordered us a tea and we started to get to know each other.  Santiego owned his own carpet cleaning business that took him and his wife, Gülçin, all over eastern Europe.  Sitting with them and chatting was a nice change of pace from our previous brainstorming and problem solving evening.  After another round of tea Santiego said matter-of-factly,

“Now we go.”

“Oh, where are you going?” I asked.

“We are taking you to bus station.”

I looked at Todd and realized this is what happens when you are open to things.  We could have acted rushed or concerned about finding the bus station and not sat down with Santiego and Gülçin.  Not only would we have missed out on a fast and easy way to the bus station but also not made these new and wonderful friends.

“I bought my wife car.  Mercedes,”  he said as he looked lovingly into Gülçin’s eyes.

They really were cute like this.  Giving each other loving glances and whenever Santiego referred to Gülçin he always did as his “wife.”

We walked up to the van that they had fully furnished for their travels.  A fold down TV, room for a bed, and incredible music system they blasted all the way to the station.  Once we got there we showered them with “thank yous.”

“We all go inside.”

Of course they weren’t just going to drop us off.  They were so kind that they took us to the window, spoke with the man, ordered our tickets, walked us to our gate, AND treated us to another tea.

“Now we go.”

We gave them hugs and again showered them with “thank yous” and they walked away hand in hand.

Todd and I looked at each other and were so excited and happy to have found these guides.  It seems to happen to us wherever we go.

An hour later we were on the bus to Aksaray.  Almost hitting the median and crashing and burning along the way.  The driver ran into one of those thin metal poles they put in the middle of the interstate just before a two foot high curb for the median came along.  We really were lucky he hit the pole and not the median…So I have lots of “thank yous” for that too.

We arrived in Aksaray at 4:30am with no idea where to go or what to do.  Luckily (again our luck), with our bus tickets came a shuttle bus ticket into town.  The driver didn’t speak any English but we were able to communicate that we didn’t have a hotel to go to and that we wanted a cafe.

All you really need after late nights of travel is a hot pastry, tea and/or coffee.  Our AMAZING driver took us to the bakery that made everything for the whole city.  From other bread shops to the pretzel vendors to the coffee shops everyone was there early in the morning getting their treats for the day.  This was the KING of all bakeries.  With a huge brick oven (the size of a yurt!) facing the street looking out all glass windows and doors.  They left the front of the bakery open because it was so hot in there.

This became our home for the next 3 hours.  Not only was everything fresh but it was very inexpensive as well.  Even though it was technically the driver who brought us to this heaven-like place I have to pay tribute to my aunt, Elise, who I believe has rubbed off some of her worldwide-best-bakery-finding magic on me.

It seems that after a month of living in a country one would get a phrase book.  No!  One would get a phrase book BEFORE going to another country so that they can practice and be prepared.  Well, that’s just not how I did it this time.  We finally bought a phrase book which was so helpful on our next hitchhiking ride and throughout the rest of the trip.

We walked out of town and made a sign for Nevşehir.  We thought we were in a good place to be picked up.  It was out of the city and the only direction was for Nevşehir.  During our waiting time, I noticed a wall across the street.  I mean a BIG wall.  With barbed wire and guard posts and guards with guns.

“I think that’s why no one is picking us up right away,” I said, pointing at the wall.


“Well, I think it’s the prison!”

Todd and I started cracking up.  Of course the place we picked to hitch was in view of what could easily be assumed as a prison.  This realization began a reel of bizarre events including chatty gypsies, a very equivocal old man, and an incident with our hitching ride….

We jumped in a car with a trustworthy looking man.  He didn’t speak any English but we had our new phrase book and it helped a lot!  We had typical conversation of where we were all from, what our jobs were, and some things about our families.

Now, we had done our research concerning hitchhiking as a woman in Turkey.  Things like how to conduct yourself, what certain signs meant, and basically the correct educate.  One story that stuck with us was about a girl who was hitchhiking alone in Turkey and her ride made a signal rubbing his two pointer fingers together side by side.  The girl made it clear that this symbol meant sex.  The rest of the story continued in a positive way where the girl asked to be dropped off and got out of the car with no problems.

Back to our ride….about 30 minutes down the road, with rolling golden hills on all sides of us, our driver began insinuating the question if Todd and I were together.  We didn’t quite understand until he made the sign with his fingers.  Rubbing them together wildly and pointing to Todd and then to me.  This was the first encounter of our entire hitchhiking adventure that this happened.  It was hilarious.  We laughed and laughed and immediately called Cem (our great friend from Istanbul) to help us translate and confirm that our driver was not asking for sex but asking if we had sex!  Cem put our minds at ease saying that our driver told him that we were special people and that we all are good friends.

He dropped us off at the dolmuş stop (Turkish bus/taxi) and we rode it into the town of Göreme where we were hit with the visual beauty of Cappadocia and the famous fairy chimneys.

The fairy chimneys are amazing natural phenomenons that have been around since the 6th century B.C. with several different societies inhabiting them.  Cappadocia includes several little towns that each have their own fairy chimneys and/or Roman ruins.

First thing we did when we arrived was find somewhere to sleep!  Once we were rested from our exhausting night (and day!) we went and arranged to rent a motorbike.  This was one of the best ideas and I have to say the greatest way to see Cappadocia.

Todd’s off road skills were incredible and we made it up to the top of a mountain that over looked the whole country side.

We also went down a dirt road that led to someone’s private farm.  There was a sign that said “Information” written in blue on a piece wood dangling from a nail.

“Welcome to my garden!”

A man approached us and told us to come and sit with him and have tea.  A German family walked by and he did the same greeting and showed them to the table.  There he gave us apple tea that was all natural and produced from his garden.  Then he gave us a tour picking tomatoes, grapes, and walnuts and having us eat them.  It was wonderful.

The next day we took the bike to Kaymaklı which is one of the Underground Cities around Cappadocia.  This place was amazing.  Only 10% of the city has been excavated.  Todd and I found a tunnel that led straight into darkness.  We obviously were not supposed to be down there but it was so curious…like Alice and the rabbit hole.  However, it got a bit creepy when we could not fit any more down the tunnel.

We decided to sleep outside this night because we had to be up early for the hot air balloon ride.  Wait what?!  Hot air balloon?!  Oh yea.  It was cheaper than we thought because it was the off-season but even if it had been more expensive we would have gone anyways.  It was truly the most amazing experience and worth every Turkish Lira.  So sleeping outside seemed to be the most logical since we would be saving money on a hostel. The night before the balloon we met some friends in the park where we were sleeping…

These were students at the University near by and they were having a party at the park.  They were the most welcoming and jovial bunch.  Giving us beer, raki, cucumbers, chicken, and a little bit of everything they had.  We had a great time talking with them and were so grateful for the fire they started because it was so cold!

Once they left I set up my sleeping bag on a picnic table and looked up at the stars.  There was an incredible moon out and it shown on the fairy chimneys in an eery but magical way.  I awoke just before 5am and rode the motorcycle wearing Todd’s sleeping bag.  It was SO COLD.  I was inside the sleeping bag and wrapped the front part around him.  When we arrived at the meeting point for the balloon guide, I popped out of the sleeping bag and his look of surprise was hilarious.

PHEW!  I know it is such a long tale but I feel like I had to get it out because it was honestly one of the most wonderful trips.  All the people we met and all the beautiful things we saw seemed like enough for a lifetime.  This was just one week!  We were completely elated the entire time.  My favorite part being the surprise of everything.  I had no idea all these great things would happen.

Thank you Turkey for being such an incredible adventure.

Now I’m in Moscow and have just come home from walking through the Red Square.  I cannot express enough the awe of seeing Russia.  Even with the introduction to capitalism, the history stands out strongly.

We finally made it.


Filed under Turkey

A Turkish Delight – Part I

I have been putting this off because it is truly a long tale.  However, it must be told because we came across so many affirmations, in many shapes and forms, that this is an exceptional life we are leading.

It was stifling hot on the bus.  I managed to rally my spirits even with a stuffy nose.  We were finally seeing Turkey.  I was finally going to see a true culture in this country.  Not that Istanbul is a lie but modernization has a way of eradicating tradition.  And to me, tradition is a key element in any place with a rich cultural presence.

I had been craving a trip out of Istanbul for quite some time.  We all were.  Everything with the Russian consulate was in order and we were only waiting for our passports to return with VISAs in them.

There is only so much you can plan on this kind of adventure.  I believe that it is best to keep things open and see what opportunities present themselves.   Not to be too stuck on one thing or else you might miss out on another.  Luckily, my travel companions agree very strongly in this sense.  And so our dynamic is productive and positive.

The bus went onto a ferry that went across the Sea of Marmara.  The air was cold outside but a nice change from the feverish bus.

We stepped off the bus into Ayvalik just as daylight was breaking.  Our friend Cem from Istanbul accompanied us and invited us to stay at his family’s vacation house near the beach.  I breathed in and tasted the sea air.

“What is that?”  I asked, pointing to an island in the distance.

“Lesvos,”  Cem answered.


“Yes.  We can go to Greece if you like!”

I began picturing the white washed buildings with blue accents of doors and rooftops.  The smell of lamb, ouzo, and cold tzatziki.  I sighed with nostalgia and longing for my friends in Athens and Corfu.

“Be happy where you are,”  Todd reminded me.

After a wonderful day of walking….A side note has to include the explanation of when I say “walking” I say it in the most sarcastic tone I can conjur.  Why?  Well, Cem likes to walk.

“When I am walking I am resting!”

This “walking” Cem likes to do is more like hiking or cross-country trekking.  At one time, we took a bus only half way to town because Cem wanted to walk the rest of the way.  All I can say is, after an all night bus ride and little or no sleep, walking was not the most enticing thing to do.  BUT we did.

On our beach hike several stops were made to swim and sleep.

We all slept very well that night and awoke to the sprinkle of rain on the patio.  Our enthusiasm no less than the previous day to continue our journey south to Izmir.

We made our way to the highway, walking through the misty rain.  Jordan had a sign in tow that said BERGAME.  Within 10 minutes a truck pulled over and the four of us jumped in.  We squeezed into the back and had to crane our necks to fit in the back bed.  However, Jordan was pretty happy in the front seat.

A little more than an hour down the road our ride let us out and told us that if we needed a place to stay we were more than welcome in their home.  This genuine offer became a theme of the entire trip.

Cem befriended a man at the dolmuş stop (a kind of shared taxi that run routes all over Turkey) who ended up taking us into Bergame other wise known as Pergamon.  Mehmet, our friendly guide, took us to see several ruins of Pergamon and even treated us to coffee and tea.  Again, this kind of Turkish hospitality was so prevalent during our entire journey it was overwhelming.

We said goodbye to Mehmet as he left us at the bus station where we purchased our tickets for Izmir.  Of course he could not leave without giving us another gift; a huge bag of dried figs.  Delicious.

When we arrived in Izmir Cem had to leave us to return to Istanbul for work.  We said our goodbyes and waited for a CouchSurfing friend/host to meet us.

Our lovely host Gözde came and took us to her friend’s apartment who was out of town.  She gave us the keys and told us that we would meet tomorrow.

The view was quite exceptional even with the fog and rain.  However, this was not an ideal hitchhiking day.  We decided to stay in Izmir another night and I am very happy we did.

Even in the rain Izmir is a very cool town.  And we were so lucky to have such a wonderful host to show us around.  Things were much cheaper compared to Istanbul and like most beach towns the people seemed more relaxed and friendly.

I even got to see friends of a friends from Dallas!  What a small world!!!

Our final morning in Izmir, Gözde’s courteous mother dropped us off at a gas station where we assumed the stance, put out our thumbs, and held up our sign for ANTALYA – where we initially thought we were heading…


1 Comment

Filed under Turkey

A Collective Consciousness

The past few weeks we have been attending several conferences and parties affiliated with Couch Surfing.  It has been a life saver in this new city and has aided in making this time in Istanbul feel more like a home.

What is Couch Surfing?  It is a database where people can connect from anywhere in the world and experience a cultural exchange.

What kind of cultural exchange?  Through Couch Surfing you can find anyone in any country who is willing and/or able to host you (let you sleep in his/her home.)  Nothing is expected in return besides that when you are able to, you provide a place for traveling Couch Surfers.

Still sounds funny, doesn’t it?

How do you know your Couch Surfer or host is trustworthy?  The site provides various features to check on the host or Surfer’s validity.  You can review profiles that provide specific information about the person as well as references left by other members.  Other components like “vouches,” where other members can attest to the character of a host or person, can prove legitimacy.  It is a phenomenal resource for travelers and anyone who likes to meet people from all over the world.

A way I like to think of it is a type of “pay it forward.”

Through the website we have been able to find meetings and parties that the Istanbul Couch Surfing Ambassadors throw.  This has been an amazing resource for meeting people and making friends in this new city.

My first Couch Surfing experience was in July 2010.  My ex and I were in Athens, Greece waiting to begin a job at a B&B we found through Work Away.  The job wasn’t to start for another week and we could not afford to continue to stay in a hostel.  I had heard about Couch Surfing from a friend or acquaintance (I really don’t remember where I first heard about it!) years ago and had signed up but never used it.  The website at the time was very basic and honestly seemed sketchy.  I was nervous to try it out.  However a week before when we were in Crete and met a guy in a coffee shop that was Couch Surfing on the island.  I told him that I was a member but had never tried it. He began to rant and rave about Couch Surfing and I became easily convinced this was the best way to travel and see a city or town.  In Athens, I contacted 4 people (my profile had no references, vouches, or verifications.)  Out of the four I messaged, one was able to host us.  It was serendipitous that this was the first time they used Couch Surfing too!  They were our first hosts and we were their first Surfers!

Stella and Giorgos are some of the coolest people I’ve ever met.  They lived near the Thissio Metro station.  Thissio is one of the hippest neighborhoods in Athens and full of cafes, bars, and restaurants.

We went to Stella and Giorgos apartment and talked for several hours.  We talked about music, New Orleans, food, and the Greek language and literature.  We were getting to know each other and everything about our different cultures.

Stella is an incredible artist and you can find her creations here Stella’s Shop.

It is not an exaggeration to say that I speak with Stella via email or Facebook more than 3xs a month since we first met over a year ago.  She and Giorgos travel a lot and so we are always trading stories and hopes that our paths will cross.  I never really gave Couch Surfing the credit for my friendship with Stella but obviously we never would have met without it.

A distinct question Casey, the creator of Couch Surfing, asked at the conference was, “How can we make a better world?”  I could not help but think, “How DOES Couch Surfing make a better world?”  He continued to explain how the process reminds us that there are people all over the world who share common thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.  The group is for people who WANT to make a better world and who want to connect, meet new people, and learn about different cultures.

I asked myself if Stella and I made a better world with our friendship and thought about how I feel when I make a new friend.  Not just any friend but someone that taught me and showed me hands-on a different way of life.  How do you feel when you learn something new about a person or a culture?  These are easy experiences resulting in higher self-esteem, self-confidence and living a happy life.

So even while Couch Surfing creators work on “changing the world” they still know how to party….

Oh yea.  We were on a boat, going fast and riding up the Bospherous Strait.  There’s nothing like an all night dance party of Couch Surfers starting on a boat and ending in a club.

I suggest that you risk getting to know a stranger.  If you cannot travel, bring the world to you.  Host a Couch Surfer and hear their stories and be inspired.  This idea of hanging out, sharing your home, or staying in some ones home who is a stranger might sound risky to some.  But are we not all strangers?  This is the way life used to be.  We used to trust each other.  That is another strong point Casey made was how Couch Surfers TRUST.  It’s a new way of looking at life, people, and different cultures and I LOVE IT.

“A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free.”

-Nikos Kazanzakis (Zorba The Greek)

Jordan, me, Cem, and Todd at CC conference.  Cem, who is from Turkey, met Todd through Couch Surfing in New Orleans.  He has been an incredible ally showing us around the city!

Cem, Casey (creator of Couch Surfing), and Jordan at CC party.

Couch Surfing dance party on boat.



Filed under Turkey

Finding Istanbul

I have been in Istanbul for over 2 weeks now.  I cannot lie and say that it has been easy for me to like it.  Ultimately, I could not find a distinctive aspect about Istanbul that could spark an affinity for the city.  Besides the people of course as I wrote in the previous blog.

There are no statues, fountains, or ruins that could ever live up to the beauty in Rome, gyros in Greece are FAR better than the kebabs here (döner in Turkish), and Morocco is certainly more exotic and ridden with culture.  Istanbul is a metropolitan city just like any other.  Nothing special, nothing distinctive.  True culture is hard to find and if you do find it it is usually a tourist attraction.

These opinions were very short lived…

Last week we found an apartment on the Asian-side of Istanbul in the neighborhood of Fenerbahçe.  I hoped and prayed our leaser and roommate would provide me with some true cultural experiences and knowledge.  As well as help me find an appreciation for this city.  I should have known better than to worry.  For once you fully immerse yourself and make an effort to meet and talk to the people around you can you find a new and enticing way of life.

With the help from our friendly hotel staff, an exceptional couchsurfing host, and our new roommate I have finally uncovered several things I love about Istanbul.

The flawless transit system that could not be clearer than glass (Just read the signs and follow the maps!  Really!  It’s easy!)

Drinking a hot tea on a windy night.

Amazing pâtisserie shops with decadent treats.

Riding the ferry morning, afternoon, and night.

An inebriated local who at first seemed sketchy as he studied carefully Jordan and Todd’s professional camera equipment while we were recording a time lapse film of the sunrise this morning.  At first our friend mumbled and muttered incoherent Turkish phrases while leaning ever so close to Jordan and the camera.  Since he didn’t seem to know a word of English we spoke openly about our feelings about him.

“This guy is making me uncomfortable.”

“He’s just drunk,” I said.

All the sudden a horrific fight broke out in the park only 20 yards away from where we were standing.  It was too dark to see what was going on but someone was holding someone to the ground and yelling for the Polis (Police.)  Our friend said something in Turkish that seemed to mean,

“Don’t worry about that.  Polis coming.”

After this reassurance from our Turk I knew he was harmless even though he was breathing down Jordan’s neck and several times I caught him staring at me (Which is really a very common thing in Istanbul-Luckily, not as common as in Morocco.)

“I think he’s harmless,” I said as he stumbled a little closer to Jordan.

He looked me in the eyes and said,

“Where are you from?”

Jordan, Todd, and I all looked at each other with such surprise as our “observer” (which the Turk named himself) began to speak to us in perfect English!  We all bowled over in laughter.  He must have been completely oblivious that we were talking about him within earshot, forgotten he spoke English or had been fooling us the entire time!

Together we watched the sky lighten and spoke of interesting things about school, Turkey, and what/why we were filming.  The Observer left us in good graces and we boarded the ferry to watch the sunrise over the mosques in Sultanahmet.

The last and most wonderful part I love about Istanbul is the sea.  I swam in the Sea of Marmara today and did not come out until my fingers and toes were wrinkled.  We all lay in the sun and recharged from our sleepless night.

Todd, Jordan and I at breakfast after pulling an all-nighter.

In the words of Todd Geasland,


And now…I love Istanbul.

(Picture by Todd Geasland)


Filed under Turkey


After a long and strenuous trip with a sprained ankle, two flight connections, and my checked-in luggage getting lost I arrived at Istanbul airport.  Limping out the customs door an hour later then planned I met my companion.


I turned around to see my friend wearing a flat cap and black blazer jacket.  He ran over to greet me.

“I brought you a banana but put it in the same bag as my camera and…”  

I looked down at his camera that was covered in banana pulp.  The gesture was sincere and made it even more so in the fact that I seemed more concerned than him about his professional equipment being covered in smashed banana.

We booked it to a taxi which took us to the Asitane Hotel in the neighborhood of Sultanahmet.  At lightening speed the cabbie drove along the boardwalk and park running beside the Marmara Sea.  A sharp turn took us into Sultanahmet and up, down, and around on cobble stone streets.  ‘A room with a view’ is a very accurate description of the accommodation.  Windows run along the entire wall with breathtaking views of the sea and the towers of The Blue Mosque.

I think I expected Istanbul to be familiar for me the way Morocco was.  My partner in this same realization I discovered was no other than Anthony Bourdain.  We watched his Istanbul episode last night and he seemed to have had similar expectations and realizations about this city.

The focus of Bourdain’s episode was FOOD.  LOTS OF IT.  Todd and I watched and drooled over kebabs, eggplant and cheese purees, pomegranate desserts, and of course my beloved figs.  Oh!  Did I forget to say they sell mussels on the street stuffed with rice and other spices?!  That is my goal today.  All I can say is thank God we had eaten an incredible meal before watching this.

Earlier in the day we walked to the fish market where we sat and had the incredible and famous Turkish coffee.  Once finished we were ecstatic to find that our drinks were on the house.  No hassel, no expectations, nothing lying under the surface.  A complete act of hospitality and welcome.  When we returned later that night we feasted on grilled sea bass and an appetizer plate of anchovies, eggplant, yogurt, and other interesting unidetifiable things.

I cannot lie and say that I came to Turkey with a blank slate.  In honesty I was comparing almost everything to Morocco the only other predominately Islamic country I have been to.  Within my first day I cleared my mind of any comparison.  It has been I long time since I have visited a brand new country and within 24 hours I had to remind myself of my goal.  NO expectations.  I’m going to soak up the NEWNESS and accept the unknown.  The only constant being the motive for the indefinite adventure.

At this very moment I am sitting having tea with my new friend Ozan who works here at Asitane.  He will help us find an apartment where we will live for a month working on the preparations for the Trans-Siberian Railroad.  I am grateful to have this time in this beautiful city.  From the kindness of the people, the exquisite cuisine, the strong tea and coffee, and the beauty of the city itself I know Istanbul will always have a place in my heart.

Later this evening….

Pictures from the dinner I made for for Todd, Ozan, and Atilla.  Ozan and Atilla work at the hotel and let me use the kitchen to cook!  Ozan spent the WHOLE day taking Todd and I around Istanbul.  NICEST GUYS EVER.

Menu: Chicken with garlic, lemon juice, and lemon rind.  Eggplant and peppers sauteed with garlic and spices.

Cucumber, tomato, and the AMAZING Turkish cheese, “peneer” salad-made my Atilla!

BY THE WAY…my lost bag was discovered after I refused to get off the phone with the guy until he physically went to look for my bag.

I called (for the hundredth time in 3 days) and asked about my luggage.  Before I could give my name or tracking number the man said that they didn’t have my bag.

I said, “How do you know you don’t have my bag if you don’t know my name or number?!”  

He said, “Ma’am, we ALL know you.”

I finally convinced him to look for my bag and he found it!  The underlining story is that I never would have talked to the guy who got up out of the chair to look for my bag if I hadn’t befriended Sahin.  Sahin helped me trace my bag when I first arrived in Istanbul.  He Facebooked me the next day and I messaged him explaining that they hadn’t found my bag and if there was anything he could do to help.  He replied with another phone number (the one on the paper he originally gave me NEVER answered…seriously) and this is where I was able to contact the man, Mesut, who found my bag.

Todd was so ecstatic he yelled to Mesut through skype, “We’ll buy you lunch!”  I asked Mesut if he knew Sahin and he said they were best friends!  It was hilarious and wonderful and an awesome relief.

All in all…..Great day.

To new places and NO expectations!



Filed under Turkey