İzmir – backgammon, rakı and great food

We didn’t need a long time, after three days in Turkey we realized that hitch-hiking and couchsurfing are the way to go. People are amazing. From the police man to the TV star, the construction worker to the business man, we hitch all kinds of rides, being offered food, invited to restaurants and drinks along the way. Our Turkish is improving in the process 🙂

In İzmir we arrived after being taken about 400km in a pickup truck loaded with tomatoes. Our driver tried on a few occasions to have a chat with us, but we couldn’t understand a word. We tried, but sometimes (I remember the days when on the Transsiberian without any knowledge of Russian) you cannot establish communication. With many drivers, we manage to do the hand/ foot gestures, mix of all kinds of languages, speaking slowly, articulating clearly – not here 🙂 Anyway – we arrived after 400km in İzmir, much earlier than expected. Music helps.

We signaled to stop after consulting the GPS (great to have!) and realizing how big İzmir is. Welcome back summer, sunshine, sea, palm trees. Time to take of the jackets after a few weeks of autumn and winter – even snow – we’re back in the South! Nastya has a big smile on her face. I’m realizing we’d need to move to a sunny place one day otherwise the heating bill will kill me.

Our couchsurfing host Murat is a math teacher. He met us to let us in and after a bit of a chat returned to work, where his students were waiting! You know – the kind of math teacher, that knows how to keep students busy for an hour 🙂 We had a fantastic time, the neighbourhood – Karşıyaka – is THE – place to be, especially after sunset and Murat and his girl friend gave us a good tour 🙂