Just one more cloth… just one more…

3 08 2010

Being chased by a looney on a bike for 2 km’s is enough to make you throw down your cycling hat and grab for a cool fresh bottle of chocolate milk! A lecherous stick insect with double wing mirrors and an extravagant display of glittering mud guardary had been continually speeding past us and then slowing down, staring and laughing at us for over 2 km. Fearing for all our lives, and with increasingly crusty patience, we decided to pull into a petrol station for a temper cooling chocolate milk drink (definite spirit booster). Thankfully the stick insect didn’t stop.

As ever our bikes caught the eye of the owner who brought his two cheery, round faced daughters out for a chat and to see what we were up to. Our magic letter caused much discussion and soon we were joined by their excellent English speaking son.  As we explained our plan for the next few days the family erupted into a veritable hubbub of concern and dire warnings. The section in question is between Duzce and Bolu  – basically a steep 1000m climb, in 40 C heat, with no hard shoulder. This is not the first time we have been warned about the dangers of this particular section and it was beginning to dawn on us that maybe we should look at the bus option.  It was at that moment that the son noticed Liz’s missing toe clip, which had worked itself loose a couple of days ago – within minutes he had rushed off to the adjacent workshop and set about finding a replacement nut and bolt (with a couple of spares – just in case). Meanwhile the two daughters scurried away to return moments later with a gift… a chamois and car air-freshener for each of us… we are thinking about hanging them on our bikes so that we can smell more fragrant than our scuzzy t-shirts!  Having missed the previous chamois presentation the son also then gave us two more chamois along with some very useful instructions on how to get to the local bus station. … so from one petrol station we have 4 chamois – that’s a whole lot of bike cleaning for us to do!

Round the corner at the bus station we ran into another English speaker – who very helpfully sorted us out with bus tickets and times… splendid! After 20mins of chat about universities, our trip, the project etc she then presented Catherine with a piece of cloth.  Her sidekick – who clearly knew more English than she was letting on – was using a translator tool on her phone for the odd word where the great English speaker came unstuck – translated that this cloth was used for pole dancing at weddings… I think there was something lost in translation with that one!  But splendid we can add it to our growing cloth collection (Is this cloth giving a local tradition?!).  What interests me, is why did she have this piece of cloth in her bag – was it just in case she ran into some random stranger whom she might want to give a gift to… God only knows what we might have been given if she hadn’t happened to have a handy piece of cloth in her bag.. maybe people all over Turkey are lugging about bags stuffed to the rafters with little bits of cloth ‘just in case’….. I guess we’ll never know the answer to that.  We are trying to find out a little more about the wedding dancing traditions in Turkish culture – to fathom the pole dancing mystery! Anybody got any ideas?



4 responses

3 08 2010
Jill McVann

Loving your updates – keep up the good work ladies………..you’re truly inspirational. :o)

3 08 2010
Jane Boothroyde

Hi Catherine and Liz
Really enjoying your ‘reports’ – brightening up my day!
You could always collect your ‘cloths’ and sew them up for a patchwork quilt!
Take care on those roads!!
JaneB x

3 08 2010

we are thinking about some new clothes….

3 08 2010
nick rawling

oh Fendi, just one more cloth for your collection..then you can patch them together to make a magic carpet

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