Arriving in Dalyan

August 5, 2014

I woke up heavy faced, it had been a very hot night, my eye lids weighing 48.5 pounds each. Yes, 48.5. My head halfway in between dreamworld and the knowing that so much lay ahead of me today. It is another sunny morning, and we’re again expecting mid to high 30’s. Shower. Uh. I’m up. Clothes, and a look around my room where there are three zones of stuff: What stays here, what goes in the back pack and the music gear. Oh, a fourth one: Laundry.

The plan: Get up, check. Laundry, cafe, drying, that will be at Chillout. Then while it dries I go home, pick up the backpack and instruments, head back to Chillout. Pack, have a massage-treatment for my out of place clavicle at 11:30 then wait for Uçak time (Plane time) to Dalaman then Dalyan.

Laundry, no problem. Then the espresso. Ahhh… then back to Chillout for drying machine time. I stuff the clothes in the dryer and head home. I am wearing new pants… yes people, new pants. I bought clothes… I had a tiny bit of money saved and decided it was time to get something nice to wear. Everything I own has a minimum of 17 months and a maximum of … 3 years of being worn.

So yesterday I headed out To Tolla Tolla… I had been visiting the store a few times and thougth “this is where I want to get my stuff. I was greatly helped by the girl working there. I got a pair of black cotton pants, a … ahem… skirt with pinks and purples, and a really sweet shirt of dark purples. Yes… I have introduced color to my wardrobe.

At home Meron greeted me, he had not been up long. We had tea then headed out. I carried my basilic plant, there is a whole other story there with this plant. I had refused to let it die and it humored me by staying alive… so now I want to make sure it survives… Meron, gentleman that he is, is carrying my heavy back pack and the bağlama.

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At Chillout right after I dropped my bag off, I hear my name, once, twice, “efendim?” I get to the reception desk and Ibrahim has a wicked smile… he reaches under the desk… he pulls a bag. It took three seconds of recognition: my new sandals!!! I had purchased sandals onlineö they came in 3 weeks ago but too small, I shipped them back but I didnt know when or if they would arrive in time. I yelp and jump around, tear the bag open and pull them out, put them on. They fit perfectly. Two days ago I wondered if hopefully they would arrive in time for my departure, they did… Wow, what a bonus…

everything is falling into place.

Oh and the guitar you ask… well yesterday I tried it plugged in the amplifier and everything seemed OK. Another bonus.

So Chad shows up for the massage around noon… then he has to do a few things… then around 1:30 we set up the massage table in the basement and he goes to work on the shoulder until 2:15. I have to leave at 2:45 to get to the bus… Time, time… but I trust.

in the mean time Ibrahim had ordered ciğ köfte, so I have a bit to eat. 20 minutes to three. I grab my stuff, the big backpacker bag on my back, the regular backpack on my chest, the guitar, the bağlama in each hand. Ready.

“Oh now I feel nervous” I said.

We go outside, hugs with Meron and Ibrahim, earlier it had been Rebeca, Orcun, “See you in October” they said.

I am about to head out, I will take a taxi to Taksim. Ibrahim decides to walk with me to the taxi station. For the first time ever I see the taxi station empty of cars… It takes a few short minutes, one drives by, stops. Ibrahim talks to him, instructing him to take me to the Havatas terminal. Taxi drivers are notorious for ripping off yabancis… I get in. As we go down Tarlabaşi boulevard the guy asks me if I speak Turkish, I say a little. He asks me where I am going. Havataş station… Yes but where are you going? I say to the airport.. Sabiha Gökçen.

“I can take you to the airport, 50 lira!”

“no thank you, I don’t have money.”

He pulls out a stack of Turkish money…

“50 lira! Turkish lira!” I supposed he’s trying to tell me it’s a really good deal… again I repeat that I have no money, I am a musician…

Then he stops, a little bit past the police station, which is nowhere near Havataş terminal. He opens the window, signals some buddies on the side of the road… he gets out of the cab and starts talking to them. Well, for one, every minute counts… I don’t have time to wait. I am really close, I can walk. I get out of the cab while he is talking to Three guys. I just heard the story of this guy who was just ripped off really bad.. so I am weary…

“Get back in the cab!” he says with a big smile. I am trying to ask him what he’s doing but somehow I can’t find the words I ask how much. He says 10 lira.. which is bad, since it should cost 5 or 7 lira, I am annoyed, he’s not even taking me to where he was instructed to take me… I get the rest of my stuff out of the cab and I have a thought that someone could steal something while I get this stuff out.. I hurry I put the bag on my bag.. .he says with a stupid smile:

“geziyoruz?” (taking a walk?) and gesticulating with his elbows in a fake walk… I hand him a ten lira bill I don’t have the skills to argue or negotiate so I walk off.

I get to the bus, I ask “Sabiha Gökçen?” they reply asking “Bir kisi? (one person?) I say yes and I am ushered into the bus, my bags disappear in the hands of the driver and there I am, the very last person at exactly 3 pm on the bus heading to the airport. Success

The flight is uneventful, short. A little over an hour. I look out, mountains, ancient looking land. Flying is always so disorienting. Too much distance too far, too quick.

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Out of the airplane onto the gangway, it is hot… humid. Hotter than Istanbul but the air is clean, clear. After getting my bag picked up I head outside, I look at the signs people are holding, someone is suppose to come and pick me up… I don’t see one, I pull out my phone… then a man approaches eyeing my instruments, holding a sign saying Daniela habert, yeah that’s me.

On the ride there, I don’t say a word. I look outside, another world. Palm trees, short vegetation, lots of greeness. We go through some towns that could be anywhere. But as we approach, things change, Dalyan 12 KM… soon we are there, I look and look. We pull into a small village, tourist town, I see the place, Aleph… it’s nice. I get out of the car. Here I am.

I am welcomed really warmly and simply by Neco (Nedjo) we go up and I see Selda. They are talking to me in Turkish and somehow I can speak, understand… she says, let me show you around… we do a very short walk where I am surprised to see a river right there, ancient toobs in the rock face, beautiful beautiful place. There are some bugs cricketing in the night… Then we go back, I get to eat homemade Turkish dinner. Now I am watching the performer playing… Tomorrow it will be me. So far it’s amazing. I hope they are happy with me, my music… got to get a song list together…

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New world… Ancient place…. I can feel there will be discoveries… hikes… and a complete change of air.

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