Chips with everything

3 08 2010

A golden rule in cycling… only ever ask the way of a fellow cyclists if you still have cycling legs in you.  Last Sunday, as the furnace of the midday sun threatened to breach our factor 50 sun block and we were mid searching for a suitable pool of shade, 3 cyclists sped by the other way singing out a chorus of colourful cheery toots …. only to turn around and frantically catch up with us. After much admiring of bikes and kit two of the three sped off about their business, one stayed to help us find an ‘otel’… we thought. Fuat’s English was about as painful as our Turkish. But we communicated with sign language, through the lonely planet list of useful words (not all that useful) and through sharing websites and facebook on his blackberry.  Fully loaded with a fine array of tough looking outdoor gear we shouldn’t have been in the least surprised when he kindly provided us with a can of US Army mace to protect ourselves from the dangerous Georgians!

After an hour or so of relatively successful communication and with the sun fully shedding her load upon our we-were-up-at-5am- and-have-cycled-70km-in-40+C –heat heads Fuat began to understand our need for an otel. Which he eventually did – 3 hours later (!?) First he took us to meet a local English speaker, a kindly old chap who, with his wife, had lived for 35 years in Toronto. His English was limited and broken and belied his years spent in an English speaking country. A stark reminder of how ex-pat communities can so easily become ghettoised. This clearly mirrors the previous weeks conversation with an English friend recently moved to Turkey (who is working hard to learn Turkish) as she told of the British ex-pats she has met who are also unwilling to learn the language and are constantly looking to buy British, read British, eat British etc. …

Feeling slightly dizzy and exhausted from our extra 10 Km cycle around the delightful little town of Hendek we eventually showered, hunted out some fuel (liz managed to order a sausage [ish] and chip sandwich…) and conked out under a shady tree in the village square to read our books…. the tale of the longwinded kindess of strangers 🙂

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3 responses

4 08 2010
Laura

Ah you GUYS. I do miss you a lot, when I read of your antics. I hope you’ve kept the mace spray. Keep it near the entrance of your tent to squirt bears / maniacs. xxx

6 08 2010
charlie

hi you two. Loving the blogs. Sounds like your legs are aching just as much as ours….Got back from the gay games in cologne where we played 2 games each day all week and 3 yesterday. (the *only* victory!!!) Anyway, keep it up. We’re all thinking of you. What an adventure! charlie xx

7 08 2010
oneproject

Shame to have missed the games. But nice one on a victory!

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