Tuesday, October 30, 2007

a killer ride

30th May 1990
I was heading south-west through central Turkey on route to Goreme, a town in the spectacular region of Cappadocia. This entailed a change of bus at the town of Kayseri. Unfortunately when I arrived at Kayseri I discovered there was no further bus to my destination that evening.

It was already about 9pm and dark, but my annoyance (more with myself for not having pre-planned a little better) at not being able to get where I wanted caused me to (rather rashly) attempt to hitchhike the 140 kms to my preferred destination.

About 4kms along the highway, in complete darkness in the middle of Turkey carrying a huge backpack with an enormous neon sign flashing "bloody idiot tourist" I suddenly came to my senses.

I 'about-turned' and headed back and managed to flag down a taxi - or at least he said he was a taxi even though there was no 'taxi' sign visible.

I told Mehmet that I needed a hotel. Kayseri is not a tourist town and therefore hotels were in scant supply. Mehmet drove around stopping at several 'business' hotels which were all full.

We chatted as he drove. At one point I commented on how well he spoke English and asked if he had learnt it at school. "Oh no" he replied "In prison".

Mentally I said to myself "no, don't ask...you don't need to know...it's none of your business...dont say anything"..

"Uh...so why exactly were you in prison?"

"I kill a man."

Soon after he stopped outside a building which loooked more like a Narcotics Anonymous drop-in centre and disappeared inside.

"They have room. $5. Go in room and lock door. Stay there until morning. You OK"

So I did. And I was.
(Though I did drag a chest of drawers against the door before going to sleep as I didn't want to trust entirely to the three locks already on the bedroom door.

My only photo of Kayseri.
Too nervous exposing a camera while there.

A closer view (courtesy of www) of the mountain on the outskirts of town.

No comments: