I wake up from the call of a rooster. After a long breakfast and some tea and a lot of hazelnuts and some more tea, I leave my hosts and get back on the road. It’s a quiet day. One time a dog barks at me furiously, then changes his mind and wants to be petted. We play in the middle of the road.
I still think about the dance, though, and about how shitty it was. It has taken me 12,000 kilometers to get here from Beijing, and I just angrily go through the motions because I want to get it over with?
That’s not right.
When I notice a nice spot, I decide to dance again. This time it’s just going to be a celebration of 12,007 kilometers or something. The sun is out, I’m in my shirt, and I’m wearing a souvenir thingie that I bought for this occasion at a gas station. I dance and I dance. It feels good.
The rest of the way is just the same quiet country road. There are three mosques and two shops in total. The road leads northwest to Carsamba. I don’t get lost this time, and the line I’m walking looks fairly straight.
When I get to Carsamba, a shop owner called Samet, who has met me before in one of the villages, offers to walk with me to the ögretmenevi. Friends had been warning me about the mean streets of Carsamba (“don’t be out there after dark!”), so I gladly accept.
“Is it safe here at night?” I ask Samet.
“Sure,” he answers, then he says hello to a guy he knows.
He says hello many more times during the half hour it takes to walk from his shop to the ögretmenevi.
“They’re all my friends,” he says, and then he adds: “This is my city.”