Considering my ordeal the other day, I think I can be forgiven for having a slightly eschewed image of the kindness of others. Seeing my ex-boss’ cold stare as I lugged my suitcase out of the door and waited for a taxi cemented “People can be bastards” right at the forefront of my Lessons Learned Archive.
Yet, my new maxim has already, thankfully, been proved wrong.
The other night, I arranged to meet with Regina. She was leaving Fethiye for Ankora, and this would be the last time we had the chance to meet (possibly forever) so I was keen to get one more round of backgammon in. She’s the only one who’s ever let me win. She arrived at our meeting point, and slightly breathlessly told me that a German couple who had been staying at the hotel I’d briefly worked at were waiting in a car around the corner for us. They’d offered to take us for a meal, if we would like to.
So I spent the evening with three Germans, talking about the nuances of English (you try explaining to three non-English speakers why we say “iron” the way we do) and gossiping about the hotel. They had been horrified to hear what had happened to me, and insisted on paying for all of my drinks and food by way of saying they were sorry for not helping me out sooner. This was to be considered their “tip” to me for all the work I’d done at the hotel. I was charmed. What wonderful people.
We waved Regina off on the night bus, and I promised that if I was ever in Germany, I’d make sure to arrange to meet her again. (I’ll stay in touch Regina, don’t worry!). The couple drove me about a mile away from my hotel because they didn’t understand my English directions, gave me their business card and asked me to keep them updated.
|Me and the Greeks, all kicked outta Kaya.|
The next day, I grabbed the dolmus to Kayakoy. I’d thought about skipping this day trip out, seeing as it’s frighteningly close to the ol’ demon hotel, but pushed that thought out as ridiculous and looked forward to wandering around the ghost town.
It’s very creepy. Completely empty, except for those chilling sheep cries that sound like trapped souls calling out for forgiveness. In the 1920s, thousands of Greeks were forced out of this village. Just imagine that for a second. One day, you’re having your breakfast, dropping the kids off at school, knocking up some shelves for your front room; next,you’re packing up everything and leaving. Not just you though, the entire street. All of your neighbours, at the same time.
The 17th century church was particularly eery. That used to be a place of real significance. People got married there, worshipped there. They mourned their dead and celebrated the newborns. This was a place that was important to almost every villager at some point in their lives, and all that was left of it now were the bare bones of its architecture and a few tourists wandering around. I was sat imagining all the years of prayers that had happened here, when a Scotsman and an Irishman walked into my eyeline.
I know that sounds like the beginning of a joke, but they really did; Kevin and Jerry. They asked how long I’d been sat there, I told them since the Greeks left. They said I looked good for a ninety odd year old, must be something in the water. We set off around the ghost town together, speculating what the buildings were used for and explaining what on earth “linguistics” was. Upon spotting a hotel in the distance, complete with swimming pool, one of them exclaimed “the lying bastards, we were told this was a ghost town”. It’s the first time I’ve laughed like that in weeks, and I was really thrilled to have such company.
We stopped for lunch at the entrance of the village and tested each other on our knowledge of world flags, Charlie’s Angles and Manchester United players. They pointed out that me and the Greeks that once lived in Kayakoy had something in common; we’d both been kicked out by the Turkish. They told me about their lives and their families, and I told them about my little adventures and writing. They refused to let me pay my share of the bill.
Wandering back through the park, we came upon a dog. Admittidly, it was quite big- but no larger than Ralph, really. Though it was scampering about in the opposite direction to us, Kevin and Jerry quickly u-turned and hotfooted their way out of any, ahem, danger. Leaving me trailing behind. “How manly of us, leaving a young girl to that Rottweiler. When you write that up, make sure you put that we rescued you from the jaws of a wolf.”
|Kevin and Jerry “Are Large”|
So, Kevin and Jerry, if you’ve managed to remember the name of this blog, thank you. For saving me from that pack of wolves/camels. I almost certainly wouldn’t have any arms to type this with if it wasn’t for your combined bravery. And with a slightly more genuine gratitude, thank you to both sets of couples for reminding me that not all people are bastards. Some of them are really, really lovely people.