Yearly Archives: 2019

yok

Posted on

There is a word I keep hearing a lot: yok. It means “no” in Turkish. Excuse me, is there a way around that tunnel? Yok. Do you have soup on the menu? Yok. Is there a place to sleep around here? Yok. Yok. Yok. Yok. I am still thinking of this word while I am […]


déjà vu

Posted on

The year is getting old, but the sun still manages to burn. I remember the middle of October in 2016. I was walking through Kazakhstan when it suddenly started to snow. Back then I ended up buying gloves and a wool hat – along with my beloved pink Blankie – in a bazaar. I wonder […]


Sea Hawk

Posted on

Every tunnel is always the worst. The very moment I see it from afar, my heart sinks. I fumble for my phone and stare at the map, trying to find a way around. There seems to be a small road over the mountain. I try to take it, but it’s a dead end. There are […]


but the terrorists

Posted on

A day in a roadside hotel. The room is okay, the yard is nice, breakfast is the bomb. I walk over to a shop down the road and end up buying not only water and a candy bar, but also a pendant from the Trabzonspor football team because I like its colors. Guess I’m a […]


similar questions

Posted on

Last night, when I was almost at the ögretmenevi where I was planning to stay for the night, two guys appeared and wanted to take a picture together. Then the cops showed up. Not just one or two, but four of them. As I was standing there, posing for the picture in my Chinese reflective […]


a Turkish tea house

Posted on

It’s two in the afternoon when I see my first pine tree in as long as I can remember. Actually, it’s a bunch of them on both sides of the road. Their fragrance fills the air, and just looking at them makes me feel as if I was on the shores of the Mediterranean. That’s […]


overpass

Posted on

Here, on a pedestrian overpass, on a metal bridge that spans four lanes of traffic, here am I, and I’m having tea. Below me, there is a constant roar from the vehicles of those people who want to get somewhere – anywhere – really fast. I can see the Black Sea hitting the shore, it […]


the way to Sumela

Posted on

Somewhere in the south of Trabzon, hidden deep inside of a mountain valley, there is an old Greek Orthodox monastery called Sumela. It is not functional anymore. There are no monks, no holy books, no ritual chants, just a few stone buildings hanging on to the rocks. I can’t help but ask myself what happened […]


the Kantian

Posted on

I took a walk around Trabzon with an old friend today. We talked about his life and mine, and about some of the things that had happened in the last few years. The big things and the small things. Meanwhile, we looked around. When we passed the old Gülbahar Hatun mosque, I said let’s go […]


holy wisdom

Posted on

Islam came to Trabzon rather late. Maybe it was because of its city walls (which now mostly lie in ruins) or maybe it was because its inhabitants were so famously stubborn and hot-headed, anyway Trabzon remained Christian (and independent) for a long time, even after almost all of its surrounding territories had adopted Islam. It […]


the demonic sneeze

Posted on

Remember the other day when I stayed in that village guesthouse? Well, when I got up that morning and I went down to brush my teeth, I sneezed, and during the violent convulsion that accompanied that sneeze, I felt something weird in my upper back. I have been feeling a bit of pain ever since, […]


Formaldehistory

Posted on

“Where are you going?” asks a man wearing a beard and shades. I tell him I’m trying to find a place to have lunch and then go to Atatürk’s house. “Ah, come with me!” he says, and he takes me to a small restaurant. Then, after I’ve had enough soup, salad, rice, and beans, he […]


fighting folks don’t need no walls

Posted on

Trabzon has a castle. Or rather: Trabzon has a city wall that is sometimes referred to as castle. Or rather: the old city of Trebizond on the Eastern edge of the Byzantine Empire used to have city walls. Those walls now lie in ruins, and only very little is left of them. They stand on […]


Caboose 2.1

Posted on

One unexpected thing happened last night (I’m including a photo in this post). As I was walking toward my destination, I stopped and tried to film myself and the Caboose walking through a crowded pedestrian zone. That is until four men showed up and demanded to know what I was doing. I told them I […]


Trabzon

Posted on

Having rested very close to the city, I get to sleep in and have a long breakfast, then I just leisurely waltz into town. At least that’s the idea. In reality I squeeze my way through insanely tight traffic and try not to get hurt. The Caboose hates it, while I’m trying to think of […]


walking to the government

Posted on

The hotel in which I wake up is called “Hotel Lost”. When I arrived last night, the nightclub in the basement was just warming up, there were three bouncers in the lobby, and the whole place had an atmosphere of fake leather and black lights that reminded me of certain establishments in China that charged […]


knife town

Posted on

Just as I wake up under the cement roof that has been my home for the night, it starts to rain again. I decide to wait it out. After all, I have apples, nuts, and bread to eat, water to drink, and a tv series to watch. No need to lose hope as long as […]


the right way

Posted on

Rain unrained is a taste of metal in the air and a shade of darkness on the ground. It is there, I can feel it all around me, only it chooses to remain in the clouds and to not fall down to earth just yet. And so I walk under a grey sky that reminds […]


the fires and the pots

Posted on

A few kilometers into the day, Nihal and Kader call me into their yard to have breakfast with them and their colleagues. They’re into the dairy business. There is much laughter at the thought of how long my hair and my beard will be once I have made it to Germany. Back on the road […]


of mice

Posted on

An afternoon, a sky covered in grey clouds, a corner near the ocean where a cat is playing with a mouse. At first I’m sure the mouse must be dead, as it’s dangling lifelessly between the cat’s teeth. But when the cat sets it down almost gently, the mouse looks around for a moment, then […]