Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rock stars, movie stars and passports

We received tremendous help from yet another Turk who I met at ATA motos. This time it was Ozan, who fearlessly drives his bmw 1150 on Metzelaar knobbies around Istanbul when he isn't playing double bass in a local jazz band.

We needed to drop Claras motorcycle at a warehouse about 20 miles from the city in a place called Tuzla. On a hunch I asked Ozan if he could be our guide and interpreter. He was awesome! We 3 cruised East through the harrowing traffic. One problem our motorcycle guides throughout the world have is that they don't take our panniers into account. So while they bob and weave through traffic, we are stuck smelling fumes, or taking even riskier moves on our wider bikes. However, we were able to stay with him and after stopping for directions a few times we got to the warehouse. A few young boys came running over from their soccer game to check out the sights before Ozan sent them scurrying to find the custodian.

A few hours later we had Claras bike packed up, disconnected, and ready to go back to the Usa. we had made it back to the shippers office after a 15 mile race at 60 to 80 mph in a 30 mph zone on a curvy seaside 3 lane track following the shipping agents agent in a van with Clara and Ozan who was fighting with lesser educated Turks about turn signal etiquette in the right hand lane at speed, Ozan had treated us to lunch and let us know he used to be in a famous Turkish rock band "Athena", and Ozan had shown me a shortcut which included riding the wrong way up one way streets and riding on the brick sidewalks. In Istanbul, it is not a matter of if but when you are going to be in an accident.

We had to pay more than 100 dollars to get a power of attorney notarized, a complete govt. Racket whick shows some of the inefficient govt progress which everyone acknowledges here. We will hopefully have Clara passport back Saturday once her bike gets stamped for leaving the country.

Finally, last night our friend Hakan made a wonderful dinner for us and his moviestar friend, Cinemas. We were able to enjoy it right after he and I fixed his overheating Renault in the middle of traffic!
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

No comments: