Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Decision


I was invited to stay in the large back room of a beach restaurant. I passed my first day waiting for an answer from Alanya relaxing at the beach . The employees were a bunch of gracious teenagers who encouraged me to make myself comfortable and I didn't see much of the owner.

In the night men with camouflage uniforms and machine guns woke me. Two were young and stood alert and serious with their weapons at their sides. An officer, a middle aged, portly man spoke to me in English.

“Do you speak Turkish?” I was awake like lightning, said “no.” and scrambled for my passport on demand. I was escorted to the light of the kitchen where a henchman held my documents up for the Paunchy’s examination. Apparently he had not expected everything to be in order. He handed me back my passport and asked "What is the purpose of your stay here in Turkey? “ he almost chuckled, as though he already knew the answer and wanted to hear it first hand.

"I'd like to speak to a United States ambassador please, " I said a little sharply.

"What?" he asked.

"I choose not to answer your question. You've established that I am here legally. I am not breaking any law. Am I free to go? "

"Yes," he said hesitantly.

I went back to bed. The soldiers spoke with the manager.

The next day I got word from Alanya. The people there who had suggested they could escort me decided three knots was just too slow. I couldn't cross.

A man on the beach spoke English. I told him my story and he was impressed. The manager spoke to us and my new friend translated. I had to go since I was sketchy and my papers were undoubtedly not in order and he didn't want trouble with the authorities.

My new friend hosted me for a couple of days. I spent them trying to hitchhike with my boat and a sign. My trip was over, I couldn't make the crossing and to go farther East would bring me ever closer to the war in Syria.

I ate well and rested well and wasn't able to catch a ride before recapturing my confidence. The sea isn't calm every night, but it will be on Sunday. I'll launch at 23:00 and hopefully arrive 12 hours later.

It's a good thing too, because my host is ejecting me.

[gallery type="rectangular" ids="5242,5243,5241"]

No comments:

Post a Comment