happy bullets

Posted on

Google Maps

By loading the map, you agree to Google's privacy policy.
Learn more

Load map

Turkish roads are wider than those in Georgia. And they seem to be better maintained. That doesn’t help me, though. Every time I take a long break from walking I am bound to have a hard time getting back into it. This time is no exception.

Sometimes I see billboards of the president. There must be an election coming up, I think. Why else would there be billboards of the president? On the ground I see lots and lots of lizards timidly scurrying away. Turkey, land of the lounge lizards? And not only that, there are lots of bullets laying around, too. They’re 9mm, and I can’t think of a satisfying explanation as to why they’re there.

At some point I sit down with Erkan and his friends. All of them have grey hair. We sit in the shade of a tree, they give me tea, and we talk about things. I can only say “how are you?” and reply with “good, good” or “terrible” in Turkish, so we use translation apps and our hands to communicate. We laugh a lot. At one point Erkan pulls out a gun. He hands it to one of his friends who goes away with it.

Why? I ask him.

It’s for weddings, he says. He likes to fire a few rounds into the air when he feels happy. He has a license, so it’s cool, he tells me as his friend returns with the gun. I show him a photo of one of the 9mm bullets I found on the road. He says it’s not from Turkey. It’s a foreign brand.

So I walk on. I pass villages that are decorated over and over with Turkish flags. I squeeze through a few tunnels. I see one, two, three tea factories. I buy some tea. I think of bullets fired into the air by happy people.

In the end and in the darkness, when the world has long been reduced to a small pool of light emanating from my head torch, someone offers me to stay in the village guesthouse. It’s a dusty room next to the mosque.

I hesitate only a minute, then I happily accept.

the president

Erkan's friends



tea picker

tea plantation

mosque with Turkish flag


in Sümer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.