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1/1/11 – Kozan to Kadirli – All the ones

February 2, 2011

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A modest number of beers and a bar tender keen to get home to bed mean that the New year is greeted with a relatively sober hand shake. Ye we’ve missed the parties back home but waking up with a brain the size of a football inside a walnut-sized skull and a gaping hole where the wallet used to be is something i’m not missing.

The day outside is gleaming with prospect and we’re up early with a cup of free cay freshly delivered from our man in the hotel, marvellous. I need to print off some documents so utilise Google translate to communicate my query to the hotel manager. This is the first time on the trip we’ve used it in live conversation and it works extremely well, the ability to communicate almost exactly what you want with relative ease, well almost – Babel fish for the masses!

In search of a hearty meal to line our stomachs for 2011 we follow the hotel owner to gozleme(flat pastry filled with potato, meat or spinach then cooked on a big convex hot plate) place just around the corner where the smiley waitress eagerly serves us plate after plate of this tasty stuff. Despite our best efforts to get a cup of turkish coffee we’re served a cup of hot water and a Nescafe sachet, tourists like nescafe.

Pack up our stuff whilst the manager argues with an old man next door about god knows what. The old man hobbles back into his abode and we’re given the universal sign of – "He’s a little bit loopy" I need to find a printer, internet cafe proves fruitless, i’m directed down the road to a photocopying place. Throughout the course of this trip my ability to communicate via hand signals have improved and i’m able to get my point across with relative success! He doesn’t have a printer though

The query is fielded to a younger looking guy outside who quickly asks his friend who then asks the two people next to him. Before i know it half the street seems to be engaged in a quest to find Julian a printer. Through the masses i hear "I can help you." – Jam, as he calls himself is an English teacher whose friend works in a computer shop opposite the breakfast place and has a printer. After various re-saving and formatting of the personal statement i need to work on whilst on the road out comes 4 sheets of printed text from the printer.

Jam wants to hang out with us, i get the impression native English speakers are a rarity in Kozan, but with the road beckoning to get on with it we speed off through the streets and leave the city. The rolling fields are sun-drenched – the sun feels so good, months of cold weather early on in the trip and now finally my bones are beginning to thaw! I’ve got alot of love for Turkey, the people, food, the weather its a great place.

To compound these feelings we stop off to buy some supplies from a shop next to a cafe populated by middle-aged men, playing board games, smoking shisha and drinking tea. The tomatoes are free for us and so is some of the best tea of the trip so far, infused with a light hint of vanilla. Everytime we stop now it seems to create a carnival atmosphere, which can be a bit overwhelming sometimes, today it’s fine and we explain the trip and then leave.

Behind us the red sun is enourmous and is slowly feeding itself into the horizon as we enter Kadirli, a smokey city of apparently 80,000 (according to the signage, which is the norm when you enter a Turkish city – a municipal nightmare) I pick up some sweet treats for everyone including some banana wafers and we make camp just outside the city in a stealth spot next to the road just behind a ridge.

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