April 6, 2013
I was at Ankara Gari (Ankara Railway Station) or TCDD (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Devlet Demiryolları) and I was just looking around just like I have seen something unfamiliar and new. It wasn’t my first time to be in an unfamiliar and alienated place; however, every time I arrive in a new place, I feel the same. My travel-mates were worse than me. They were an old lady with her middle-aged daughter, and a young family with two little kids who had come to Turkey for immigration. None of these people spoke Turkish or English. They absolutely had no idea what they were going to do next. I mean, not even a hotel phone number or something. How brave/stupid of them! I like not having a pre-defined plan for traveling, but I am just one person and I only have a backpack. It’s never occurred to me to be responsible for many people with tons of luggage. So, I took the responsibility to find them accommodation. Taksi (Turkish spelling of taxi) drivers were just like Iranian taxi drivers in Tehran Railway Station. They do their best to attract passengers’ attention into their car by over-offering to help us with the luggage. I always hate this part that I have to ignore them. The question is, don’t they know that we have eyes and we can see the yellow taxicabs and we know if it’s a far distance and we have lots of luggage, we’re gonna ask them ourselves?
I shouted: “Does anyone here speak English?” And they replied hayır which means no! I had learned some Turkish phrases on the train from some Iranian people who also spoke Turkish. So, I decided to put those things into use. With so much striving I managed to say with a rising intonation: “Yakın otel kaç Lira?” which literally means “near hotel how much Liras?” They said elli (50) and I said on (10). We continued this bargaining until we compromised on onbeş (15). So, I sent them off with a van and there I am all alone!