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I decided not to stay in Mardin so I just made a day trip while I was staying in Midyat.
From Midyat I took a dolmush to Mardin. It’s still winter (March 2013) and I don’t have any idea or actually I have not thought about the schedule of the dolmush going back to Midyat after wandering around Mardin.
I've reached Mardin before noon. After a long day of walking around the old town up the mountain I went back down to the new part of Mardin city. I don’t know exactly if the dolmush will be waiting at the same spot where people were dropped off - along the highway beside a huge electronic video ad. No dolmush there.
So walked until the gas station and asked the store guy, he told me to wait for the bus at the same bus stop that goes up the old town. I’ve waited there for almost half an hour and it’s around 5pm already. I walked again and bought a pack of cigarette and the old man at the store said go to the other side of the road, so I did and it’s dark there, with some bushes, a bit creepy but there’s one or two guys waiting there too. So I’ve waited until I was the last man standing. It’s so cold already so I walked back to the busy street as I was already getting worried. A man inside a car who speaks english well asked my if I need help so I talked to him and he said that I may no longer find a bus back to Midyat at that time of the day (or night).
There was a taxi parked near the Bilem Hotel and I inquired about the fare from Mardin to Midyat, he told me 100TL and lowered it down to 80. I backed off and walk a bit far to ponder on it as my worry is getting high. I approached the taxi driver again and he said how much do I want to pay and insisted that 80 is already cheap, I almost took the bait until looking at the taxi, although it’s dark inside the car, I saw a man at the back seat who peeked on the front. Red flag! I immediately walked away, or a run, or a walk that is fast like a run? Whatever, but he followed me to the other side of the highway and he told me not to worry, I did not understand what he said but maybe the guy is sleeping at the back or something. I don’t know but I don’t want to take the risk. I stood to my decision and walked away fast.
Until I reached the gas station again where there is a small booth of security or police or sumthin’, and there was a taxi parked there. I asked the guy and I think he misunderstood me and he said TL15, since he speaks in Turkish, I have to ask him to write the taxi fare to Midyat on my Tab. He said 70TL, I bargained for TL60 – after all I know that it’s far – and it’s dark already.
So he drove me to Midyat, talking a bit every now and then in Arabic as I understand and talk a bit of the language. My stress is strong still as we drove the dark road. That previous taxi driver stressed the hell out of me that it didn’t go.
We reached Midyat and since it’s dark I can’t figure out where my hotel is and I told him the name but he either seemed to not know where it is or maybe he doesn’t know. So he dropped me at the roundabout. I think it’s the new town so walked around again looking for people to ask and I hand-picked an old man, suddenly the wife behind him and then 2 children. I was relieved it was a family. And I remember I have the hotel’s business card on my wallet and I handed it to the old man (middle aged actually). He said it’s about 5kms away and then right at the end of his last word I spotted a taxi about to go around to where we’re standing. But the man suddenly said, “I’ll take you there” that’s what I understood in his local language. And the kids too hopped in in the car. I was so totally relieved. We’ve reached my hotel and told him how grateful I was. I’m sure he did understood it, after all I did understand his words that indeed I cannot understand.
In Turkey, it’s kinda odd that two people speaking to each other in different languages but there’s this hard-to-explain phenomenon (if I may call it that way) that in the end, people seemed to comprehend each other in certain degrees or understand each other a hundred percent. Nice bizarre, right?
Written Mar 28, 2013