Category Archives: Adventure Excerpts

The Bulgarian dream – Meet Chris and Claire

The first time we met the British couple Chris and Claire (Wild Thyme) was through a HelpX project in Southern France. In was early spring, and they had recently left England and their jobs as archeologists, happily driving their Ebay catch, an old van turned into a mobile home.

When we heard that Chris and Claire had found their luck in the north of Bulgaria, we were keen to visit them. We stayed for almost a week.

Each day we worked in the garden to the sweet smell of soil. Each
afternoon we had a nice cup of tea. Each evening we ate natural,
organic and locally produced food that we cooked in turns. With
that we drank young, delicious red wine or the local beer. Chris
would sometimes play the fiddle. Clair would give a soothing angel
reading. Or we’d just game a game of Jungle Speed.
Communities like this come and goes with the people that makes them.
Wild Thyme puts Palamartsa on the map by just blogging about it.

Welcome to Wild Thyme!

How to Curse Like a Bulgarian Man (with car problems)

We’re on the way towards Turkey and we’re communicating using
German. Amanda sits next to our driver, an older Bulgarian man with car problems.
– “Gross problem mit das Auto!”
– “Turkey, geld!” He’s somehow going to Turkey in order to get money to fix his car.
Or what is he telling us?

We’re learning Turkish now.
– “Marhaba!”
– “Salam aleikum!”
– “Merci – alles gut!”

Our dicta phone is coming handy. When we can’t communicate properly, we usually try to learn bits of the language of the country we’re traveling in.

He’s playing Turkish music to us. I reckon I would get the same show from the local immigrants of my home country if I’d just asked them. Why didn’t I?

– “Scheisse!” He doesn’t like what he hears.
Constantly switching tapes, cursing in German.

The landscape is fantastic; It’s open, wide, hilly. Sunny. Looks like a scene from “Gladiator”.

The bass is scrambling more than his motor.
Broken speakers.

Our driver look a bit like a mix of Danny De Vito and Jack Nicholson. Catsy eyes and eye-brows with a kind smile and dark colors. Pattern baldness. Compressed space between eyes and mouth.

– “Karta! Karta?” He is asking us for The Map.
We don’t have one.
– “Wir haben nichts einen Karta”
– “Wass?! India! No karta?!”
We’re hitchhiking to India and we don’t have a map.
Haven’t really thought about it before.
Never felt the need for one.

Amanda draws a map and points at Gotland.
– “Zu hause.”
– “Aha?” He really couldn’t care less.

We’re driving on a really lousy road.
He tells us that this is the road where his “Auto” broke down.
– “Hier, das Auto, electroniks, kaputt!”

I can smell newly put asphalt and cigarette smoke. He is constantly smoking.
Gangsta rap on the radio. Probably produced by the stoned guys that ran the hostel (also serving as a hiphop studio) where we slept the other night. It was a nice place but poorly managed.

Now we’re starting to understand each other.
– “Vize Auto, my friend, autobahn london – iraq.” He’s saying that his friend (who is going to fix his car) is waiting for him in Vize, and that he’s gonna let us off at the motor way that connects Great Britain to Iraq.

We’re entering Asia now.
Before this trip, I’ve never thought much about roads.

Coffee break

– “Eh.. trinken sie Kaffe?”
He’s inviting us for coffee.
Amanda is stuck in the door with her seatbelt.
– “Yes. Coffee. Teşekkür ederim.”

The world is a friendly place

We were hungry that night. We walked the 3 kilometers from our campsite to the village to buy some food. It had rained, heavily. The little road was more or less damaged. It started to get dark.

We passed a restaurant in the village, where we spot a table filled with vegetarian dishes. Innumerable mezes, stews, salads and fresh bread, enough for at least 20 or 30 people. It was obvious that there was a private party about to begin.

But, we couldn’t stop ourselves from asking if it was possible to buy a plate.

That’s how we got invited to join a Turkish birthday party in Ayvalik. People came from everywhere. Some spoke English, some didn’t. We communicated in every way we could. We sang “Happy Birthday” in Swedish, we laughed, we ate, we drank.

In the end of the night, somebody offered us a drive home (luckily, since we could barely walk after the most amazing meal we’ve had for months), provided us with a few kilos of fresh mandarins and bread, and in our pocket we had a note with an invitation for brunch the day after.

We fell asleep that night with a smile upon our lips. Once again, we’d experienced it:

The world is a friendly place!

Adventure Excerpts: Ali seeks Swedish Wife

Ali walked up to us while we were trying to get a ride from Izmir to Ayvalik.
He seemed truly worried and tried his best to help us.
After using all English he could recall and every gesture known to man, he ended up inviting us for tea.

Ali

This is Ali.

Once we entered his home, there was no turning back.
Ali asked his mother if she had some good vegetarian food that we could eat.
She made us a delicious Turkish meal: vegetable stew with rice, cheese and bread.

Ali with his mother and father

This is Ali with his mother and father.

After that, we had some tea. We practiced English, and talked about what we’re doing, and Ali’s dreams. We played with his nephews, and had some snacks.
Then they invited us to stay over night.
Their generosity was overwhelming and honest.

Bed.

This is the bed where we slept.

Later on that night we taught Ali our version of the Chicken Dance, and learned another one from him.

As you can see, we had a great time!

Head shot of Ali

Ali is a 30 year old, empathic, fun, curious, outgoing and open-minded guy who lives in Izmir, Turkey.

He works in a local factory and has a university degree.
His biggest dream right now is to find a pretty Swedish woman and move to Sweden with her.

If you’re searching for (or know someone who is searching for) a handsome, humorous and generous Turkish man, Ali is the perfect match.

Contact us and we’ll help connecting you!