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The return of el Turco

Posted by Engin Kaban on January 30, 2011

The return of el Turco

December 30th 2010  01:30.

The last plane has landed in the international terminal of not-so-busy İzmir airport. There are not many people in the aisle but 4 people waiting at the gates with excitement are significant. They are holding big posters saying “Bienvenido a tu casa Juan el Turco” (welcome to your home Juan the Turk). The youngest of all is holding a video camera in his hand; possibly someone important is arriving and he doesn’t want to miss the arrival moment. Who is this “el Turco” they are waiting for? Should be someone important according to all the preparations.

And the gate opens. Not like a pop star or an actor, someone regular like us appear. A young man comes out with his jacket and trekking shoes as if ready to climb a mountain; in colorful clothes, a beard of a few days, a dayback, many alcohol bottles bought from all transfer airports en route, quite tired after 30 hours of travel and more important then all, a smile with big happiness and energy. Hugs and embraces…

These 4 people that have been waiting have something in common; their last names. They are the father, cousins and the uncle of the young man. Afterwards they all go home; pop a champaigne bottle in the balcony late at night, and chats till early morning… The young man is pleased. Normally if the plane had arrived by daytime as normal, the cousins were supposed to arrange a big celebration at the airport with davul & zurna (Turkish traditional musical instruments played in occasions like marriage, big parties, celebrations, welcomings etc.) but those had to be canceled due to missed flights and late arrival time. As time passes everyone becomes sleepy except for the young man who is still jet-lagged and accustomed to 7-hour-different-time-zone and is feeling like early evening. He is the most refreshed one of all.

First days are quite interesting for “el Turco”. He used to predict many things would have changed and would feel a bit like an outsider. But, no. On the contrary, he is surprised at the un-changed things behind. He feels as if he has just made a weekend trip to the next town rather than having a 1-year-trip overseas. Fair enough. “Apparently I have not missed a lot while I was away” he thinks.

First days he spends with his girlfriend, family and friends. He is very happy to be in the center of interest. He is being spoiled a lot. But he is also aware that this will not last long; so he tries to enjoy it to the maximum until people start to forget about him.

There are also things that he can never understand. Some small details that did not exist in his life for the last 1 year become irritating for him. Paying bills, house cleaning, changing the tariffs for the cell-phone, internet, shopping issues, stupid neighbours, matching the color of the shoes with the pants (which is not an issue if you had only one pair of shoes and one pants for 1 year) etc. As if all these were not enough, the general expenses in any given day without any specific activity seem to be higher than the expenses while traveling in South America; “should I again hit the road?” he asks himself.

After the first 2-3 weeks he is less spoiled, leaving behind the first dizzyness and as he becomes to be hypnotized he gets more used to the enviroment. He adapts back to things as they were a year ago. He also can’t stand still and makes a few short trips out of town. Apart from all these, he is also aware that relaxed times are over; so he starts spending long hours working in front of his screen making future plans and working on projects in his mind. Everything is as it is supposed to be.

January 30th 2011  01:30.

It has been 1 month since the young man is back to his country, city and home.

He is quite pleased.

Engin Kaban

January 30th 2011 – İzmir


For “Juan”, please check:

For “El Turco”, please check:

2 Responses to “The return of el Turco”

  1. claudia said

    Happy you are back home Engin, I have returned from Turkey, also.

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