In Turkey, Intuition Rules: East to Kars
The Istanbul auto-bus is a microcosm of the city, full of people, smells, and bursting at the seams. Lethargic in the heat and traffic, we roll by the Marmaris and Bosphorus. Seagulls swoop down to catch simits cast from the sides of boats. Zeki Müren blasts from a car radio as the driver attempts to harmonize. The rods of side-walk fishermen sway in the wind.
I am back.
As our bus heaves slowly in Friday evening traffic, my body is languid but my heart is tense. Ok. I made it to Turkey. What next?
My gut knows the answer, but my brain can’t believe it – Kars.
Everyone is quick to tell me don’t go. The list of possible dangers is long and familiar. Having lived in Turkey and traveled around the country before – sometimes solo and always as a woman, undeniable fear about everything that is possible creeps inside of me. I am not completely sure what is to come, how can anyone ever be? I take my fear and funnel it towards preparations. All day and all night, I research, I study, I write, I work, I plan. Most of all, I decide on a set of rules:
- Never go alone, make sure someone who cares always knows exactly where you are.
- Take a multi-vitamin once a day.
- Trust your intuition.
In spite of the legends about Turkey’s wild east, my intuition tells me I am heading in the right direction. So on June 25th I leave the crowds of Istanbul behind me and board a plane to Kars.