When I step outside to breathe the morning air, Korsan, the dog, is still asleep. Or maybe he just doesn’t want to get up because two of his friends are resting on top of him. Mustafa has prepared breakfast: fried eggplant, zucchini, and potato, toasted bread, fresh tomatoes, strawberry jam, honey, cheese, boiled eggs, and curved glasses of tea.
But, just as we’ve sat down to eat, a friend appears in the door: can Mustafa take him to the hospital? His elderly father has fallen ill. We have our breakfast in a hurry, then we say a hasty goodbye.
It’s only about ten kilometers to Sinop. But I take it slow. It’s my last walking day this year, and I want to enjoy it.
I enjoy the crazy uphill climbs. I enjoy the downhills. I enjoy the gravel roads. I enjoy having banana with peanut butter on the sidewalk. I enjoy drinking tea in the sunlight. I enjoy looking at the Black Sea. I enjoy feeling the Caboose’s handlebars in my hands. I enjoy the sound of her wheels on the asphalt. I enjoy sweating. I enjoy being mean to cars. I enjoy saying hi to cows. I enjoy walking. I enjoy getting closer.
I’m not always happy. But I try to enjoy as much as I can.
When I get to Sinop, it’s already dark. The cars pile up on the main road that leads from the mainland onto the peninsula like a jugular to the neck. I stop only for a short time when I reach the old prison. I have heard of this place before, and I will try to come back tomorrow and pay a proper visit.
Then I reach my friends’ apartment. They have a garage where the Caboose will wait for me until I return in four months. I take some of my stuff and stumble up three flights of stairs. In the kitchen I notice a big pile of vegetables. Among them are a bunch of mushrooms. I sit down and rest my head against the wall.
I love mushrooms.