Neil's wheelless 21‏

21. Neil’s Wheelless

May 26, 2012

Merhaba, benim arkadaşlarım. (Or, “Hello, my friends.” for those who don’t speak Turkish).

Neil finally called. I was concerned that he might have damaged his dialing finger in an industrial accident – but no. He claims that he couldn’t locate a phone. If he says it, it must be true.

In Adana, where Fadime lives, he had an unusual experience – even for him. Fadime was going to a job interview and invited him along. He assumed that he would wait in the lobby. But no. She dragged him directly into the interview. She explained who he was (in Turkish) and the interviewer seemed OK with it. It is my lack of imagination that explains why I never thought of somebody’s job interview as a tourist attraction. I guess I need to get out more often.

It remains to be seen if she gets the job as translator/foreign relations representative for the university. If she gets the job, I’m sure that Neil will take full credit. 🙂

As Fadime put Neil on the bus to leave, she introduced him to his seatmate. She turned out to be a local tour guide in Cappadocia- who arranged for Neil to get a 50% discount on 3 local tours, and a 1 hour hot-air balloon trip. Good job, Fadime!

After Adana, Neil went to the city of Cappadocia. You can check out Cappadocia on Wikipedia.com for some nice pictures and his motel at cappadociadoramotel.com.

For the three days that he was there, he went on a guided tour every day. It was the most concentrated days of physical activity for him of the whole trip.

Neil went on a hot-air balloon ride over the city and environs. While up in the air, they terrified a fox on the ground. At one point in the ride, he was able to pick leaves off of the top of a tree. With injection of a little more of his hot air, they rose higher.

The area is famous for an underground city, used in the 7th to 9th centuries. He took a tour group of the tunnels and surrounding area. The tunnels were low and narrow – which is difficult for an old guy on a cane. Luckily, a New Zealand couple on their honeymoon guided him down the primrose tunnel and up the stairs – one pushing on his hips, the other pulling his arm.

At one point on the tour, they were going to climb to the top of a small mountain to see a cave where some monks lived 500 years ago. The guide thought that he should wait in the bus. Well, that was a red flag to a bull. Of course, Neil went up – with the help of some South Korean tourists again pushing and pulling. They also helped him over a difficult three-mile walk across some crumbly volcanic ash.

On the way back, as a return to modern culture, they passed a McDonalds.

Neil noticed that the farmhands working in the fields were all women. The tour guide, a woman, said that yes, the women work and the men play backgammon.

He’s back in Istanbul now getting in the last sights, packing his clothes, and steeling himself for the trip home. Here is his schedule:

He gets up at 4:00 in the morning for a 1-hour taxi to the airport.

At 8:30 AM, he goes from Istanbul to Frankfurt on May 29.

Then, he goes from Frankfurt to San Francisco on May 29.

Then, he goes from San Francisco to Eugene on May 29.

If you wish to welcome him home, I do not recommend that you call him early on May 30. I’ll do that.

-Steve

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