06 April, 2010

Journey to Yolağzi

I was more than a little surprised when Oğuzhan, a classmate i had just met over lunch, invited me to his village for spring break. We had hardly talked, in fact, but two weeks passed and i grew excited. He bought bus tickets, and we met at the campus bus stop. It would be a long night's ride.

It was after three AM when i at last fell into sleep beside my friend, and before 4 when the bus attendant woke me with a tap on the shoulder. The bus came to a halt at a lonely intersection; we climbed shouldered our backpacks in the thin moonlight. A sign said "YOLAĞZI 4 KM". Meadow stretched away into the night, and from the distance i could hear frogs. Frogs! One of the few things i miss living in Ankara: sounds of nature.

Before long, a friend from the village drove past, and picked us up. He was coming from a wedding party. Partway to Yolağzi we met Oğuzhan's little brother Suleyman driving the tractor (the original plan to speed our arrival). At their home at the village's edge we climbed to the guest room, off a narrow balcony over the courtyard. The brothers pulled two thick wool mattresses from a pile of bedding, and we nestled in to sleep just as roosters began to crow in the courtyard below.