Monday, 15 March 2010

6th - Foreplay for a crossing

Here we are again ....

So it continues.
Yes, we are now in Cyprus, but that story is not yet told.
It would be an adventure, well, that is.

Of course you do not get away from Mersin and family if there is a mother or mother in law.
But now we do have 4 of the most delicious jams you can imagine in the luggage:
Strawberry confiture like you only know from grandmother's time,
Blackberry syrup that you think of as have you own picked your own blackberries in the forest,
Citrus jam of the mother of all citrus, unprecedented in the Netherlands and
Peach confiture that looks and tastes like gold as you think gold will taste.

Needless to say that there are greeting from aunt, cousins, nieces, the orthopaedic, the janitor, the local middle class, lottery sellers (no, again no wins), the neighbour and mother S herself.
We leave the tent and travel refrigerator in Mersin and will pick it up again in May when we go camping. The vacant spot is quickly filled with these jams, but also with biscuits, fresh fruit and plenty of water. The car is washed, refuelled and the oil level and tire pressure are checked again.
Tension vibrates on the front seat when we drive off after the traditional throw of water behind the car driving away from Beyaz Ev, the White House, in Viransehir, Mezitli, Mersin.
In many Asian countries it is customary to wish travellers good journey by throwing a bucket water (only water, they keep the bucket) behind them when they leave. The idea is that the trip will go as easily as the water runs over the ground. You understand that this idea is completely destroyed as water is thrown during a rainstorm, or during a flood, or after months of extreme drought, so it evaporates before it touches the ground.
The boat between Taşucu (Turkish mainland) and Girne (Cyprus) is shipping only 6 days per week and departs officially midnight, as on this Monday night. The office wants the passage tickets to be collected before 8 o'clock in the evening.
The road to Taşucu is not known to Eve. Fortunately we are briefed by cousin K; take the road to Silifke and follow the signs Kibris Taşucu, go left just before the paper factory.
Flawlessly! Eve can suck on a tip like that. Although, riding a mostly unpaved road, unlit, about 3 kilometres wasn't that easy. And yet there was the watchman at the gate lit by only a poor light bulb, sending us back to the village itself, to collect our travel papers before 8, telling us we better make sure to be back before half past nine. Lack of signs is no problem, just follow the most paved road and there naturally arises a small centre where we even recognize the store where we bought tickets 1.5 years ago for the Seabus, then being pedestrians.
Punctual at 5 past 8 we park our LandRover in front of the small office. "No problem" says the grumpy lady. This had to warn us. Somehow, the international agreements on time and correct classification of it is lost in this shipping company.
According to this lady we have report before 9 o'clock at the harbour, the boat departs at 12 and will travel 5 hours to complete.
The waiter from the restaurant where we eat on the terrace (outside!) claims the boat will not leave before 2 o'clock and being there at midnight is okay. He says the whole time story is there to enable the local officials to return home in time. The boat will not leave a minute earlier.

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