Across Continents

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Taste of Turkey

We’d no real idea where these places were, and even if we did, we’d no desire to go there. We’d wandered into Trabzon’s main bus station simply out of curiosity, a chance for my Father to get a taste of day-to-day life in Turkey. Loud and bustling, ticket touts from the many rival companies vied for business, shouting out what we assumed to be destinations. Few women, the men darkly clothed. Good natured, not aggressive. Comfortable, modern coaches outside contrasting with the rather shabby terminal building.

My Father had finally made it to Trabzon in the early hours, his flight from the UK delayed considerably. I’d retired early, expecting him to have to spend an unplanned night in a hotel en-route, arriving mid-morning. By now gone midnight, he’d wisely telephoned from Reception to let me know he’d made it. Probably wise. You’d not want to sneak unannounced into a room with someone who keeps his dog repellent close at hand.

After breakfast we’d headed to Trabzon’s main shopping mall. Lots of familiar high street names, just like the hotel, it had a familiarity, a reassuring sameness about it. We’d intended having a brief look around before venturing into the city centre proper, but, quite unexpectedly, found ourselves being invited to join some engineering students for tea on the terrace. They’d overheard us speaking and were keen to practice their English. They were first year engineering students at the local Technical University, with aspirations to travel, interested to learn about the UK.


We chatted for a good while before explaining we wanted to explore a little of Trabzon before it got dark. Parting company, we’d headed off into the city proper and the main bus station.


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