“For more and more of us, home has really less to do with a piece of soil, than you could say, a piece of soul.”
10.55am Cappadocia, Goreme, Turkey 10.11.2015 (Tuesday)
Too cold for me. Two (2) degree Celsius. The sun is up. Past half 7am. On a Tuesday. A view of a whole new environment. And surroundings. Welcome to Cappadocia!🙂
Since Friday, I was traveling non-stop from Novi Sad, the northern city of Serbia to its capital, Belgrade, down to the south – Nis. I changed bus for my route to the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia. From Sofia, I took the evening bus to Istanbul, Turkey. I spent two days in the heart of Turkey before I headed to the place known for its “Hot Air Ballon” – Cappadocia. I left Istanbul at 9.30pm last night. Braved the ten (10) hours journey to Nevsehir, then took the mini-bus to Cappadocia, Goreme. We arrived at 7.30am to Nevsehir and was transferred to the mini-bus. In Cappadocia at 7.56am. The Officer at the Information Center was enthusiastically greeted us and asked how he can be of help. His name was Sevket a very amiable man. I told him I am going to Ocak Guesthouse and Restaurant. He said he will phone Ethem, the owner of the guesthouse, he knows him, they’re good friends since childhood. I was looking through the post cards of Cappadocia, I am still in awe, I couldn’t believe I am now in a place which is on top of my bucket list to see in Turkey. It was for the longest time, a dream. I see it every time there would be a tourism advertisement about Turkey – Cappadocia. I thought, one day, I will see it face to face. And I am here. Now. In Cappadocia. AND this will be my next temporary home. My new home. I am going to live in Cappadocia for a certain period. I have a host. I will work a bit. And explore Cappadocia from the local’s perspective. I will experience the day to day living in Cappadocia, doing things together with the local people. In its purest sense, I remember the term, we were taught in my Social Work and Community Development master program, – “community immersion“. It is.
This is the reason why I return to Turkey. Aside from my visa which will expire soon, I’d like to use it before December 2015 is over.
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Sometimes, I still couldn’t believe myself that I am traveling for five (5) months now. I started in July. I tender my resignation from work in April. As I need two (2) months notice, I have worked until end of June. I’ve got a few job offer back in my country of residence but I never return. And from July onward, I was constantly on the road. During this period, this span of time, a lot of things had happened, and continuously happening, that gives me a strong conviction – it’s worth it, to write a book. Thanks to my friends who believe in me and the strangers I encountered whom out of the blue would suggest: “Mafey, you should write a book. You have a lot of things to share. The world needs to know.” Every time I would receive similar comments like this, I can’t help but feel emotional, teary eye. Because it is my dream. To write a book. And be published in several languages. I felt guilty somehow because I have not even updated my blog for over a month now. People may not know it, aside from sharing adventures and making this as a platform to exchange messages and ideas about passport, visas, travels etc. I take this personal blog of mine as my training ground. To practice my writing skills. To develop whatever style I have for writing. To gain a little bit more confidence to express myself. To be a little bit more open than I could. Unfortunately, I became a lackluster. Accidentally, I came across a youtube video that talks about Motivation and Inspiration. The message: “If you would like to make your dreams come true, every day you should do something, no matter how little or big it is that would bridge you to making your dreams come true.” – this makes me wake up. I hope I am. Not “ningas cogon”😉.
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While waiting at the Tourist Information Centre, I was choosing post cards and am excited to send one for my mother and some friends to update them about where I am currently at. Sevket was really a nice person, when I bought three (3) postcards, he asked me to choose one (1) more for free and take it as a winter present for me. How sweet people can be. Then, I heard someone called my name. It was Ethem. I shake hands with him and told him how happy I am to be in Cappadocia. I can’t hide my excitement. We drove back to his rustic cozy home. His home is almost on top of the hill. It is about 4 – 5 minutes drive from where the mini-bus dropped us, the passengers. He helped me carry my luggage, showed me my room, the toilet, the shower room. And then he toured me around his home — showed the summer terrace restaurant, then the restaurant for winter. He introduced me his partner, Muso. Their two (2) daughters, Kardelen and Evrim were in school. While Muso was preparing breakfast, Ethem continued to tour me around. And showed me the part that is a work-in-progress, a big space, an empty room next to the other guest rooms which he plans to build a dormitory for backpacker travelers. He has shared that at the moment, it was stopped due to some financial constraints. He cited he needs a business partner to help him continue his plans for the restaurant and guesthouse. Breakfast was ready and we sit down in the winter restaurant. Muso prepared scrambled eggs, sliced tomatoes, fresh olives, with different kind of cheese, butter, bread, and a herbal soup – which to me has left a remarkable taste. We drink traditional tea in between.
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By the way, I bought the ticket from a bus company called NEVSEHIR SEYAHAT for 65 Turkish Lira or 65 TL. METRO bus company which I used from Sofia to Istanbul was five (5) Euros more expensive. I was told by the ever friendly Emrullah (the only person who speaks English in NEVSEHIR bus company) that I am having a VIP seat (no. 2). If only I knew that the driver would smoke non-stop for the entire journey. Imagine, being in the aircon bus (heater in this context). I almost feel suffocated and made me really felt uncomfortable. Thanks for the entertainment (sort of National Geographic show, the Turkish version) free drinks and pastries and free wifi. It helped me divert my attention.
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We had a light discussion over breakfast, I keep asking so many questions. My energy is still high although I was almost drained for the entire journey. Imagine being the bus seats as my bed since Friday until Tuesday! Ethem and Muso are such generous, simple, warm, level headed people who makes you feel instantly at home . They asked me about my family, where I was originally from, what I do for a living etc. Ethem from time to time has to translate what I am saying to Muso as she hardly understand English.
After breakfast, they told me I should take rest and get some sleep and we will discuss the work that I will be doing after. Ethem went to Nevsehir to get something. While Muso shared with me lots of stories from their day to day living. I tried to grasped what she was saying. I walked around home taking photographs, Muso likes to be photographed too and the black dog, Kitmir as well which constantly following me.
“I should take rest and get some sleep“. But here I am, although feeling so sleepy, I am so inspired to write about where I am “At The Moment”😉 and finally updating my blog again after sleeping for sooo long. Blame it the effect of winter. Though, it is still autumn.
*This post was slightly edited on 11/11. I hope it got better hihi. I try not to worry about my grammar as I am not a native English speaker. I still have insecurities in writing and have not gained full confidence but I hope I am getting there. Getting better🙂
Hugs and kisses from my NEW Home – Cappadocia!🙂
Here is a glimpse of how my new home looks like: