cautious optimism

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This post is about a 22,6km walk from Imrenli to Sile. It rains even harder than the day before. But I am optimistic about something.

All my stuff had dried overnight, and they were all warm from the radiators. So I put on warm clothes and warm shoes and a warm hat, and then I threw on the poncho. It felt nice. Then I opened the door. It was raining harder than the day before, and it was windy. Fuck, I thought, fuggidifuggfuggfugg.

Then I started walking.

the backup of the backup

I had done about twenty minutes on an uphill gravel road when I received a call from the guesthouse. They had found two of my SD-cards. I looked back at the road and despaired.

A few minutes later Ferhat appeared in his car. He was bringing me my SD-cards, and he was all smiles. People often asked me what it was like to walk through foreign lands. Wasn’t I scared? The answer was a cliché, but a nice one: most people felt happy when they had a chance to be kind to others.

how do they do it?

A couple of uphills later, I arrived in a village. There was a mosque, and next to it, as was customary, there was a teahouse. I parked the Caboose under a canopy and went in. Everyone was looking at me as if I had fallen from the sky. I took off my dripping poncho, my dripping hat, and my dripping jacket. I asked for tea, and someone stopped the baker’s van outside so I could get some bread.

Then I sat there, and then slowly, we started talking. They seemed to think that I was crazy to be walking around in the rain. I couldn’t blame them. I for my part was wondering how the owner of the teahouse made a living. One glass of tea cost 1.5 lira. There was nothing else on offer, and many of the patrons weren’t even having tea. They just were just sitting there.

I didn’t ask, because I didn’t want to be intruding. But I wondered.


As soon as the rain had eased up for a few minutes, I left the teahouse. Of course it came back stronger than before, but it didn’t matter. I was cold and wet anyway. Şile, Istanbul’s favorite Black Sea resort, lay ahead. And I had received an email from the Turkish Ministry of Tourism, saying that they wanted to help me get a permit to cross one of the bridges over the Bosphorus.

Dragging one wet foot in front of the other, I slowly walked on, allowing myself to feel a spark of optimism.


In my poncho:

wearing my poncho on the walk from Imrenli to Sile

Ferhat, bringer of SD-cards:

Ferhat from Imrenli

Wet horse:

wet horse on the walk from Imrenli to Sile

In the teahouse of Akcakese:

Tea house in Akcakese

Teahouse owner:

tea house owner

Teahouse patron:

teahouse patron

With the Caboose in the shelter of a highway overpass:

With the Caboose in the shelter of a highway overpass on the walk from Imrenli to Sile

Ipek and her boyfriend:

Turkish couple on a couch

The road to walk from Imrenli to Sile:

The road to walk from Imrenli to Sile

More of the wet road to walk from Imrenli to Sile

The wet road to walk from Imrenli to Sile

Mosque in Sile:

mosque in sile

“Trust And Stability”:

pro-Erdogan propaganda truck: "Trust and Stability"

Central Sile:

central Sile

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