The English Kurd
After a 1,200km insane ride the previous day, my driver dropped me off at a gas station near Izmit where I got very tradional Turkish Burger King :P (all the Turkish places there seemed a bit fancy). After chilling on wifi for about an hour and staring at some random car on the highway catching on fire, I went back to the scorching heat to continue my journey towards Eastern Turkey. Seeing an English plate, I walked over and asked the guy if he was going towards Ankara. The guy replied “Oh, I’m going way past Ankara!” and gestured to get in. I couldn’t believe my luck! Once in the car, I asked where he was actually going to and he replied “My country … Kurdistan.” I stared at him with my eyes wide open and my heart started pounding like crazy. “I go there, too!”. It turned out he was going to Turkish Kurdistan, not Iraq as I initially thought but it was still one of the longest rides I’ve ever hitched. We didn’t talk too much, as the guy didn’t seem too communicative and his English wasn’t great, although he’d lived in Cambridge for quite a while. We did talk a little about Kurdistan and he’d even lived and worked in Libya under Kaddafi (which he mentioned towards the end of the ride and I had so many questions but no time….) We got to Elbistan very late (around 1am) and I was hoping a little that he’d invite me over for the night, as I’d heard from many hh'kers this sometimes happens after long rides :P He did not, so I set up my tent in a field and had the best sleep in a tent that I’ve ever had (after 3 almost sleepless nights).