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the twelfth day

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Twelve years ago on this day I started my walk. It was the first day, it was also my birthday. I walked for a year, then I stopped. I started writing books. Walked some more. Wrote some more. Time passed. Then I started walking again. Last year, on the eleventh day, I was in Tbilisi. […]


i (heart) military zones

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Just after leaving the hotel, I take a photo of a flyover. Upon which I hear a whistle. Upon which a heavily armed guy in uniform tells me to prepare to be interrogated. So I sit down on my plastic chair and drink some water. It’s a hot day. After a while another uniformed man […]


I am the police

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It’s a little less than 30km to Tekkeköy. And then another twenty or so to Samsun. I feel tired, so I tell myself that I don’t want any adventures today. No dogs. No dancing. No getting lost on country roads. The first few hours I stay on the highway. It is loud. During lunch I […]


the twelve thousand and seven kilometer dance

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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 […]


1-2-0-0-0

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I have a call scheduled for 12:00, so when I finally leave the motel it’s 13:30. Late. There are 12,7km left until the next dance. When I look at the map, it says it takes about 20km to walk from Terme to Carsamba on the highway, but if I took the village roads then it […]


the gang

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People have been warning me. There will be dogs right after Ünye, they say. They live around there because there’s a trash dump, they say. But I’m still not prepared for what I see after a bend of the road. First it’s half a dozen dogs that appear out of nowhere. I say hi and […]


no one sings like you anymore

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Last night the skies opened, and they have been releasing torrential rains all day. I’m not surprised. The Black Sea coast is known to be rainy, especially during this time of the year. I’m just glad I’m not out there, walking. There are a bunch of hotels here near the beach, and I guess the […]


dog designs bike lane

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I wake up in the darkness. It’s night outside, the wind howls, and I can hear the call to prayer. But it’s not just one. There seem to be at least two or three mosques in the vicinity, and their prayer calls are overlapping. All of them are calling for god, and they all end […]


a Turkey in Turkey

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During breakfast my hosts ask me if I would like to have some Turkish Coffee. I say yes as if this was something I am used to having every day. The coffee does not disappoint. Then one of my friends reads my future from the coffee grounds. I will get married and probably have a […]


flags

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I wake up in a hotel room that’s located above a gas station and a wedding salon. The window overlooks the sea. The sea is grey. The sky is also grey. It rains softly. When I go down to get the Caboose from the wedding salon, the kitten is gone. It was roaming the halls […]


land tittie

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Obviously, the church at Cape Jason has nothing to do with Jason himself. He lived (if he even existed) way before Jesus (if he even existed), and it’s unclear if he ever came here to this cape, this piece of earth that sticks out into the Black Sea as if the land had grown a […]


boats from scratch

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It smells like fish in the harbor. Well, it’s actually more of a little bay with a pier and a few boats than an actual harbor. But it smells like fish anyway. The seagulls love it. When a fishing boat comes in or someone tosses some leftovers into the water, then they come from all […]


a virgin

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In Persembe, there is a square with an Atatürk statue next to an old cannon. It looks as if the founder of the Republic is preparing to launch a cannonball at someone. Probably someone who is trying to mix politics with religion, I assume. When I walk over to the waterfront, I arrive at a […]


the day we won

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When I wake up and look outside, I feel disheartened. Rain. I deliberate for some time if I should go or not. I even make an instagram poll to help with the decision, but 55% vote REMAIN and 45% vote LEAVE, and it’s fucking Brexit all over again. Indefinite Chrixit extension? After a while I […]


the horde

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Ordu is nice. Its shopping streets are clean and busy (though I don’t see that many people carrying actual shopping bags), and there is the Atik Ibrahim Pasa mosque from the late 18th century, where old men sit around talking to each other (though the mosque itself looks rather new). Meanwhile, I’m thinking about a […]


very important pee (or poo)

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More greyness. More rain. I talk to a restaurant owner on a beach who explains to me that some guys are operating heavy construction equipment behind his place because the sea has been nibbling at its foundations. It certainly does look grumpy today, the sea. I slowly make my way along the coast. In the […]


the night has its own lights

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I leave Giresun via its shopping street, passing the stores where I bought my shoes and the winter gear a few days earlier. Hundreds of little Turkish flags line the way out of town, and sometimes I wonder if the people of Turkey are worried that they might forget their own nationality if they didn’t […]


Olives

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There is a church here in Giresun. It’s located right next to the ögretmenevi, and I look at it sometimes when I walk by. Only after a few days I realize that I never hear its bells ring, and it takes even longer to find out that it was converted into a children’s library in […]


what ruins ruins

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Before I even get to Giresun Castle, I see a sign that tells me it dates back to ancient times. Roman times. Greek times. Those times are gone. Giresun, just like Trabzon, might have had proud fortifications once. But today they lay in ruins. A few walls and an old well are all that’s left. […]


rock hard

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It’s been exactly one month since I entered Turkey. I have two more left until I’ll have to leave the country for a while, and I wonder how far I will have come by then. But first I need to get a pair of new trail runners. Back when I started my walk in 2007, […]