Day 8-11. Villages, markets, road-trip to Troy.

On Tuesday we go to a village market to get some more veggies for the week.
Life is much slower here than in the UK, everybody seems so happy, smiles and waves at each other and at us. People are predominantly muslim, the women wear beautiful head-scarves and flowery harem pants, the call to prayer still makes us stop what we are doing and listen in awe. I haven't felt as genuinely welcomed by local people since traveling in India. Despite the language barrier being so strong that conversation with local people consists of us spluttering some of the Turkish words we can manage (hello, please, thank you), them responding with a few words in Turkish, us saying a few words in English, them saying a few words in Turkish, us saying a few words in English, and then all of us shrugging and laughing, every day we're shown so much warmth and kindness. On the way home we go to a small village in the mountains to meet one of Mesud's friends Pere for coffee. Pere isn't in her house, so we go to the coffee shop to look for her. The village is old and beautiful, and like the other villages we've been to, the coffee shop is filled with old men laughing in deep conversation, they smile and nod at us. Pere isn't there either, so Mesud asks somebody and they all point us to where she's helping build a new coffee shop for the village. Everybody knows her, and it seems she's a bit of a village saint, helping maintain all the village houses, and she adopts the stray cats and dogs.

Back at the farm we turned some scrap wood we've found into little garden tables that we paint and arrange in secret places around the garden with chairs and lanterns and sculptures hanging from the trees.

We asked Jake,
'so in America, do you call it a tele?'.....
she looks confused,
'No, a phone.'

In the evening, Mustafa, one of the two boys who work on the farm, got the wood-oven outside our little workaway house fired up for us to cook pizzas. We made dough and tomato passata and aubergine mushroom spinach onion pepper concoctions to go on the top. We didn't have anything to cook them on so we used a cast-iron frying pan which seemed ok until we discovered we didn't have any oven gloves. But Nick did a fab job of being fire-master and they were deeelicious.

Wednesday evening Mesud took us out to meet some friends at a little fish restaurant in the fishing village Babakale. The delicious food was cooked by one man in a kitchen in the corner of the restaurant and the feta cheese was made that morning by a woman with us- a beautiful ballet dancer from Istanbul. A chef eating with us insisted that the calamari they serve in this restaurant is the best calamari he's tasted, in all of the world. It was pretty delicious, but to me calamari is calamari really innit. We're taught that the same type of fish can taste different in each country depending on at what point it's been caught during it's migration.. Jake drives the dark mountain drive back, Mesud has had one too many glasses of raqi. We drive past an old man hobbling along the side of the road in the middle of no-where. Mesud tells us he is a sheepherder on his way home so we pick him up and we drive him home. Home being the point which he asks us to stop, a point that seems just as in the middle of nowhere in the pitch-black mountains as the last point in the middle of nowhere in the pitch-black mountains.

The next day Mesud loans us his car and Jake, Nick and I go on a road-trip to Troy. We get stupidly lost and drive in a huge circle through the mountains, ending up back where we started, without finding Troy or the horse. Somewhere in the middle of nowhere with no phone signal we notice that the petrol tank is on empty and at each fork in the road we take lucky guesses which direction we choose will take us to a petrol station. In a remote village we attempt to ask some friendly villagers to point us in the direction of Troy. They do their best to explain that we're going in the opposite direction to Troy FRICKIN BRITISH AMERICAN TOURIST IDIOTS. We get there, eventually, and pay 15 Turkish Lira (about 5 British Pounds) to see some stones poking out of the ground, a lot of educated guesses, and coach loads of German tourists. If only we'd remembered that Troy was wiped out after all the love-jealous fighting. It's all about Assos, 5 Turkish Lira and your mind is blown.

On the way out of Troy we pick up two hitchhikers wanting to get to Assos, a Ukranian boy and his younger sister. The boy talks, non-stop, from the moment he gets into the car and realises he can speak English to us. 40 minutes later we arrive at Assos and know all about every country and every city and every town and every village he has visited along with at least 3 facts from each destination. They were lovely and extremely grateful for the ride, but the three of us breathe an exhausted sigh of relief as we wave goodbye. Nick announces that he think he might be sick from info head-fullness.



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