Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stuffed in Turkey?

I saw a Turkey, well a lot of turkeys in cages on the back of a truck just after I crossed the border. This one great big Turkey was staring at me. I've never been stared at by a Turkey. I spent the next 50 kms thinking about this Turkey and the fact I was now in Turkey. what the hell are you thinking Steven?  Plug in some music for god's sake! My old beaten ipod gives me "George Michaels "Last Christmas" Honest!

That was last week.

This week;

I gave myself a slap! I've been in a weird state of mind of late.

I find myself on this amazing adventure and all I can think about is all sorts of crap like new tyres, leaving on time, arriving on time, worrying about the bike, getting caught tortured and killed by Taliban, (well yes that is acceptable surely), will my wife leave me, will my business go down the plug hole, will I get all video good enough for national TV, will I crash and die, will I get bored, will you get bored ..... the list goes on and on.

Ted Simon said to me, "I learned to stop worrying, all will be okay"! When will I think this way Ted?

For those of you who don't know Ted Simon is the bloke who in 1973 drove a Triumph Tiger around the world, taking 4 years to do so and wrote a well celebrated book, Jupiters Travels to suit. He was brave enough to do the same in 2004 and pops up in Long Way Round, in Mongolia. (If you don't know Long Way Round, where have you been?)

Ted and me have two things in common, I'm taking a Triumph Tiger (allbeit a newer sportier model)  and we both like good quality red wine. I could add that Ted seems to have beautiful women follow him everywhere he goes but that's where my rock star status ends.

If someone else was riding with me they'd say "Seriously, you have been a bit of a pain in the arse and need to fix your attitude" Agree. I do. I'd put it down to being alone for too long or something but for some reason I've seen the dark in all things of late. So I have come to the conclusion that I need a really challenging off road section where I come blasting through the dust like a hero on his bike to save the damsel in distress, or perhaps just get through the dust without falling off perhaps. I need that sort of day when I can feel good about acheiving something. All I've done so far is drive. I may as well get a bus.

view from my cheap room
Ah! I have to tell you, I'm sitting with a glass of wine. That's not unusual but I'm in a hostel next door to my hotel. It has a sign in the bathroom saying "Don't put paper down the toilet"! Where the hell are you supposed to put it. I ignore the sign and nothing horrible happens. Talking of horrible, that reminds me. My first arrival into Albania was scary, well, the petrol station toilet was. There was this horrible smell. As I was busy in the loo I realized what the smell was. The bucket next to the toilet hole in the floor was full of paper. The top paper faced me and it was all used. The shiit faced me and transmitted the smell directly to my face. It was the most offensive thing I've come across but I had the choice. Stop peeing? No , first thought was ... Go with the flow so to speak. The smell was still horrible and I shut my eyes and held my breath but the shiit covered paper still faced me from the bucket. I nearly vomited.

Anyway, enough of that. So I'm getting frustrated with being stuck in Istanbul and I'm going to head to the North coast, the Black Sea and then perhaps onto Ankara. I hope to pick up some new tyres in Ankara. They don't need replaced yet but they will in Iran and I doubt I'll be able to ship replacements into Iran bearing in mind all the trade sanctions at moment so I'd better do now.

In my haste to get out of the city, I forget that East of here many parts and equipment are  not easily available. I'll be stuffed.  I find this out when I settle at my hotel and hear from many people telling me to pick up in Istanbul. No, I don't want to drive back there again! I ponder this idea for a while but decide in the need to progress East, I reckon I can maybe pick up tyres in Ankara. I'll try that, meanwhile aware that I may yet have to drive all the way back, 500kms!

Ankara. "You can pick up visa here"!

1 comment:

  1. Dude! No slapping of one's self. What will people think? Seriously, the only afliction you have is the one that has pestered humans for eons: schedule and responsibility. Besides running out of beer or getting eaten by a tiger, those are probably the biggest causes of stress going. Ted solved the problem on his first trip by not having a 'significant other' or a job waiting for his return. His trip actually was his job, and his return date was open-ended. For you... well let me just say that worrying never improved any situation. Not one bit. Just deal with stuff as you need to, and get home when you get home (Lorraine loves you, she will wait! ;-) ). Also, a good friend of mine has a habit of saying, "you're a long time dead". Great saying! I think you know what it means. Do what you do best - talk to people and make friends. I can't wait to hear the stories over a beer or three. :-) And remember, the rest of us are envious!!