Trabzon

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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 something good for lunch.

I end up having cig köfte, a wrap that traditionally involves raw meat but is nowadays usually made without meat in order to cut costs. I have my vegetarian wrap in a dead end somewhere in an artisan district, with the sounds of woodworking businesses and welding shops and little tea places coming from all directions.

Hamdi appears. He owns a carpentry, and over a few cups of tea he shows me his workshop and pictures of some of the woodworking projects he’s done. It’s tasteful stuff, nothing too flashy. I like it. Many of Hamdi’s friends live in Germany now, he says, and he wears a faint smile that could be either happy or sad, or both.

It’s only when I’ve already walked past a few more welding shops that I finally think of the obvious.

Mustafa and his brother run the workshop EFDERUN ART where they do all kinds of stuff with wood and metal. They take a look at the Caboose and nod. I will find out later that they won’t accept any money for their help. First we sand down the handle bars of the Caboose, then they spray a new coat of paint on them. They add some additional hooks on the side and fix some of the weldings.

During a break we talk about Mustafa’s motorcycle travels, and they ask me who it was who built the Caboose. I tell them of Master Wang in Zhangye and of Zafar the Great in Tashkent. I have no way of contacting Master Wang, but when I send Zafar a picture on Telegram, I get a laughing voice message back. “Dude, where are you,” he asks me. Turkey, I answer, and then it hits me.

The Caboose has really made it all the way to Turkey.

heavy traffic on the road into Trabzon

man transporting stuff in Trabzon

Hamdi in his workshop

Hamdi

Mustafa's brother

Mustafa fixing the Caboose

the Caboose receiving care

Mustafa with his colleage

downtown Trabzon at night



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