I wake up after about four hours of sleep and I am greeted by the golden light of the sunrise. There’s this sharp pain in the middle of my back, as if I’ve got ‘stabbed’ again. Since I am on holiday and quite far from my current city of residence, it comes as a bit of a surprise. Still, I remember last night had a very special part about getting even (a settlement of accounts between lovers from a previous lifetime).
I am grateful for it and giggle as I am putting the pieces together and the complicated scenario that was so carefully orchestrated behind my back, casting me as a special guest star, seemingly in the very last minute, is stripped of all its secrets. And my crystal clear mind sucks all the charm out of it at the same time, too. (Just like I do with the creamy white foam on top when I have my latte on Thursdays, getting white, sticky, sweet milk drops on my lips, only to let the tip of my tongue remove them skowly. By the way.)
Former pride and old karma are so blissfully replaced by amusement, inshallah. And everything right after Rumi and Shams. By the looks of it, we agree we are even now and happy with the new settlement, so we can move on. You know those Mastercard commercials? Plane tickets checked etc, etc, etc. The newly conquered freedom… priceless! So another perfectly good former lover is free to become a good friend, if he will. (I did warn you about my special talent.) No hard feelings. No hard anything else anymore, for that matter. Tesekkur, canim, yok benim.
I take a cold shower (literally because I need to wash even if there is no warm water and metaphorically because I am a writer and I need a more or less clear perspective on the facts), do my nails, apply makeup and admire the unique combination of purple, yellow and pink surrounding my right eye – a signature blend that has my name on it. A friend says it matches the golden Konyan sunrise, so I like it even more. My left cheekbone is wearing blush. My right one doesn’t need to.
I take my luggage, leave my host’s key downstairs, on the doorman’s reception desk, and go to the otogar to catch my bus to Goreme, where I will be staying till the day after tomorrow, when I am coming back to Konya right on my mother’a birthday. I get on my bus and feel satisfied about the comfort level, so I relax. The new trip fills me with a sense of contentment and I start feeling the stillness that accompanies the newly created space to be conquered by fresh experiences.
“Oh, I want to travel” says Nari this morning, as she’s getting ready to go to work and I am watching the sunrise through the glass wall of the room downstairs in her apartment, where I spent two quiet, pleasant and safe nights. “You have so much energy when you travel, you have a fresh perspective on things, your senses are awake, you pay attention to everything… When you just work, work, work every day, you get tired and sleepy and lost in the routine. Why do people have to work?!”
The bus starts and, as it leaves the clean neighbourhoods, with their new apartment buildings of Konya behind, the view gradually changes dramatically and I start thinking of Syria. I feel so close to her now. I have not been to Syria in this lifetime, but the scenery on the way reminds me of her somehow and I take a few pictures, wondering if Syria can ever be a travel destination for me. I take out my tablet and write, but then the air becomes so hot I think I am going to die and I cannot keep my eyes open anymore, so I take a nap and am awaken by the painful sound of my phone landing between my feet and, when I look up, I see we are in Aksaray. Here I have my luch on the go: chocolate candies and plain water.
Turkey looks so clean and cold, hard, shiny and dangerous like the freshly polished pipe of a loaded hunting weapon being held by the big, strong hands of a psychopath with the sharp mind of a genius. Its people are still wearing golden rags of former glory, busy making ends meet and shattering distances at any costs. No one is alone here. Ever. Pain is hidden under the hijab or crushed in clenched fists, stuffed with sugar, smoked, washed down with cay or coffee and, secretly, alcohol. See, nothing separates us. We are all the same. Fear is no more than a virus we get while navigating news channels, never while traveling the world.
All of a sudden, the view outside the bus window tells me I am in Cappadocia and in a few minutes the bus stops and I am told to get off. I am the only traveller getting off here and I am so surprised at the amazing view that I take small steps, to be able to take in the whole beauty and not change anything by making sudden moves or taking too deep breaths.
It is my first stay in a cave house hotel and my hotel room is also much better than I taught myself to expect for fear of being disappointed. A nice surprise. On the other hand, the first contact with the people here tells me they work a lot and are underpaid and seem less friendly that their brothers in Konya. That gives me a little bit more understanding for my own brothers and sisters back home.
And so my first day in Goreme, Cappadocia, can now officially begin. Since absolutely nothing on my trip so far has gone according to plan, I now have no plan and will just let life take it from here. So here we go!