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 me very much of home.
The night before was my first time in an ögretmenevi, a teacher center. These are state-operated guesthouses where everyone can stay for affordable prices while teachers get massive discounts. The rooms are simple and fairly clean, and I enjoyed being there, but I couldn’t stay long. The road was calling.
When I rest in a yard between two residential building blocks, I find myself being stared at. Young men and boys with black caps and fuzzy beards appear in many of the windows. Their faces are almost expressionless, betraying only the slightest sense of curiosity. I wonder if being spiritual can make up for being bored.
A guy in his twenties leans out of one of the windows, and I say hello. Turns out he is from Stuttgart, and he speaks German, albeit with a strong accent. This is the dormitory of a qur’an school, he says, they’re about 50 boys in total. Then he formally invites me to join the Muslim faith. I formally tell him I’m Catholic.
“But there is only one right way,” he says.
The highway is very busy, though for a while there is a small gravel road that leads through the villages without going too high up into the mountains. I am enthralled until the gravel road stops and I find myself on the highway once again.
It is still long before sunset when the rain finally decides that the time has come. Luckily, I am right next to a storehouse built on pillars with an empty space below it. A man walks past. His name is Enic, and he is a musician. Sadly, he’s not from here, but he offers to take me to a store so I can get some supplies for the night.
And so I rest in the open, with a feisty little snail as my companion.