“Gurkan, haven’t you got pain in your bottom after such a long travel?” “Joakim, actually your bottom will only ache at the very beginning of long journeys”. It’s no joke! Your bottom is residing on an area of 4×9 inches for long distances over kilometers. A good saddle is a must. I used a gel filled saddle which made out my first journey but was too heavy. I advise you to buy one of the Brooks saddles. Brooks is one the companies most familiar with bottoms on saddle.
– You noticed all, didn’t you?
– Yes, Gurkan. First of all I have to pay attention to the saddle I put my bottom on.
– The changes that have to be made on bicycle are also definite. Otherwise, you will be pushing your limits in Tadzhikistan.
-Yes. All right… I was already hesitating. Your suggestions on what to prefer came just on time. I also recorded the routes you have recommended and the information. It was good that we had met before I have departed. It is unbelievable that my sister has had mentioned about you and we have met.
– Do you know that I would actually have been on the way today? Life is really full of surprises.
Enkoeping!! What a name for a city…. See here! There is another city over there, Koeping… Egad! Why to give similar names to cities next to each other? Look, I’m harping on the same string. Koeeeee PINK. It is like swearing to someone. Hey, how a Koeping man you are! Let’s take a photo of it. Koeepinngg. I am wondering what it does mean? There is a cafe, let’s drink a cup of coffee and talk to the people. Let me take a note: “I drank a cup of coffee in Koeping”
– Good morning
– Good morning. Isn’t it cold for a bike ride?
– Yes, it is pretty cold. But I do not make that much distances and give a break when I run into such warm ambiance. I feel lucky finding this place. May I have a cup of coffee and one of those cinnamon cookies.
Just wait, I would get definitely some company. Meanwhile, let’s have a look at the morning news and see what is happening throughout the world. Let’s see how my country’s agenda looks like.
– Hey! Is the bicycle outside, yours?
After a short talk I learned the meaning of Koeping, trade center. The villagers used to come to this region and sell their produce in 18th and 19th centuries. There had also been some other towns named the same in Finland.
Pazar (Bazaar) on the north side, Pazar to the west, Pazar behind the hill… Before departing from Turkey we visited a nomad village. The villagers describing their village:
– Take the road on the left to the upper village.
– Okay. What is the name of the village?
– Upper village
– Okay, I understood to the upper village but what is its name?
– Upper Village
This scene came to my mind somehow.
As Sebestian asked me where I was planning to stay for this night, I decided to find someone to host me in Oerebro through Couchsurfing. Just as I was about to sent an introductory message about myself to the first person on the row, the sales girl, Emma, came next to me to ask a photo with me. I had to close the Couchsurfing page. Afterwards, as I entered Couchsurfing page, the person at the first row changed, now Johanna. I sent her a message asking her whether she could host me attaching an introduction about myself and closed the site. I hoped that she would reply.
– Abi (elderly brother), you did not need to come, really!
– Why not my dear Gurkan. I cooked for you white beans with my own hands. Actually, also my children were curious about how come you stay in your tent at this cold. They begged me to come with.
– Abi, it may be difficult to find where I am now. Just have a look on “Where is Gurkan Genc” page on my web site. You will find me
– Yes, I already know, counsellor Cengiz Bey (Bey: Mr.) told me before. Anyway, we were following you since your departure.
Man, I ate a whole pot of baked beans. No need to worry about tent or hotel reception anymore… Ellerine sağlık (god bless your hands) J
Dash it! I was planning to be in Vasteras today. I strayed from the main course all the day through since there were no signboards on the bicycle roads and also the mudguard of my bicycle was rubbing on the tire which I broke while trying to fix. So, I was late. Anyhow, I would camp somewhere next to the town. By this way I will have time for a short sightseeing.
– Hello, I’m from Oerebo TV, Eric. We would like to interview you. Would you be available for tomorrow?
To be able to meet with this guy I have to camp on the other side of the city.
Whoa, I had left Vestera just at 11 am after having an interview with the local press. Wow, I pedaled 92 km today. This was the first time that I pedaled such a long distance without having a break. This saddle is really perfect. It is only 5 pm… Well then, it is time to find a place to overnight in this city. Dude I longed for a hamburger. Let’s find a hamburger restaurant. I pedaled here and there finally saw a kebab restaurant on the way. Forget about hamburger and pedal to the restaurant, I’m gonna eat kebab. I’m really very hungry. At the restaurant the waiter told me about the city being so beautiful and its castle at the city square which made me stay in the city. Is there a cheap guesthouse? Yes, Livin Hostel.
– Gurkan, let me take a video of you in front of the Oereborg castle and rush the record to the wire service. You could watch yourself in the evening news.
– Oh, I would be on the road, I’m intending to depart at 12:30 pm from the city.
I take a look to outside through the window and watch the children fooling around at this cold. One of them tries to climb on the guardrails. Buddy! He will be going to fall down and smash his face in. There are no teachers in sight. Nobody is warning them. Aha, it started to snow again… Man! Ibrahim Abi you let me eat the whole pot of baked beans, now my bowel is on heavy work pooping all the way through. J Look at that, I owe this view to him. If I had not been on the way looking for a rest room I wouldn’t have been sitting at this corner of this cafe and these thoughts wouldn’t have been come to my mind and many more…
– Beg me pardon, is that your bicycle standing outside?
– Yes, it is mine.
– Are you going to pass through Africa also?
– Excuse me? Oh, yes.
– 10 years ago I was sitting at the same place as you are now and parked my bicycle exactly at the same spot as you parked yours. After drinking a cup of coffee I departed from this point towards Africa.
I was at a loss for words for a while… We fell into silence for couple of seconds…
– Please have a seat. I would appreciate listening to your story if you have time.
Actually, all these written pieces make up a whole…
If Cengiz bey hadn’t called Ibrahim Abi he wouldn’t have been informed about me and wouldn’t have cooked baked beans for me. Furthermore, he wouldn’t have invited me to his home in Vesteras. If there had been signboards on the bicycle road I would have arrived to Ibrahim Abi and eaten the delicious beans a day before. Moreover, he wouldn’t have informed the journalist and I wouldn’t have to go to rest room. If I hadn’t entered the cafe in Koepingen and Sebastian hadn’t asked me where I would stay for overnight I wouldn’t open Couchsurfing page. If Emma hadn’t asked for a photo with me I would have sent a message to the one on top of the list. But I closed the page and reopened after having the photo and sent a message to Johanna. If the reporter informed by Ibrahim Abi hadn’t called me I wouldn’t have stopped at the city because Johanna didn’t reply. If I hadn’t eaten at the kebab restaurant I wouldn’t have stayed at Livin Hostel and wouldn’t have gone to that restaurant near the hostel after the TV shooting for rest room due to baked beans. Furthermore, the table I wanted to sit to was occupied when I entered the restaurant. When I came back that table was free. If I hadn’t sat to the table Jimmy wouldn’t have recognized me and I wouldn’t have met him. Since we had a long conversation I stayed one more day and Johanna sent me a message: “My brother Joakim is going to leave Sweden with his bicycle towards Turkey next week. It is unbelievable. I am out of town. Please meet him and lend him some assistance”. If I hadn’t had a conversation with Jimmy I wouldn’t have been able to meet Joakim who was about to depart for a world tour and wouldn’t have encouraged his father for his son’s journey and made him to support his son. Furthermore, you following my journey wouldn’t be able to host him for the upcoming months if I wasn’t met him.
I put down many things on this paragraph but also kept silent as ever… “It is keen to be a lonesome traveler you won’t get lost”.. Salute to the whisperers J
As Jimmy was talking about his experiences he moved to tears. Just one blink and he would shed tears but did not let. I know well what it means to experience with deep feelings!
– I set out this journey when I was at the age of 45. Now I’m 55. Travelers like us do understand each other. You must have also been through so much I realized that your eyes got wet.
– …. : )
– There is a place in Morocco I want you to go there.
I just kept silent and listened what he told. Yes, I was moved to tears as he was talking. He did not tell me about the road nor said visit here and there. He talked about the odyssey of his life. He just mentioned one point and told me what to do when I would arrive there.
– You were watching the children as I came to your table. Look, they are still there. Enjoy your life young man. Drink one more cup of coffee before you depart. And never stop! I need to go…. need to get my pills!
Sometimes, it is difficult to find the right words to tell the story and even you find the right ones you may not able to write them down. No way, I won’t be able to put into words… I’ll try another time, maybe…
I arrived to the house of the couple Aage and Nilufer in Oslo. Black thunder (my bike) and I are doing quite well…
He who travels far knows much…. This is my answer to the question: “What makes you know more: Reading a lot or traveling far?”