CoffeeShop Blues: 2015 Traveler's Edition - Page 20

CoffeeShop Blues in Edirne and about the news we saw in a teahouse of snow in Istanbul, and then we sleep well in our sleeping bags on mattresses. Before dawn the muezzin’s call to prayer awakens us and we have already had our Turkish coffee and gotten back on the road by the time the sun comes up. In the village there is a dog—there is always a dog—and it comes to Inge, and Inge loves it up in a way that no human will ever know, and we leave the village and where the village ends it is the end of the world. We are back on the plains that are like the sea—we have been on these plains for several days—on this sea—and we are pitching ourselves into the swells that are the long, endless ridges. Inge cycles ahead, pushing straight up the next ridge. Then she slows, struggling, weaving serpentine, and finally dismounting near the top where she waits for me. I plod onward, leaning into the barren ridge. When I reach the top I take a short break, sitting on my backpack and smoking and having a drink from my water bottle, but Inge is impatient because she has already been waiting for me for several minutes, and as I begin again Inge swoops down the ridge on Suzy and she’s a third of the way up the next ridge before she slows and weaves serpentine, then walks her bike to the top. I just plod along, steady, slow. A power plant rises from the sea up ahead—far away—on the horizon—yet it takes no time at all to reach it—an hour—maybe two hours. I have been walking for over 14 months, and that time walking has culminated in finding myself beneath a power plant’s ominous towers. Inge and I stop to smoke, but the towers have no smoke coming out of them. There is no sign of life. Beyond the power plant we pass a dump—a ridge of garbage along the dirt track. There are two massive grey puppies on the rubbish heap, rooting for a meal. We pause to look at the abandoned dogs. Inge pushes out her lower lip—she wants to save them—but we move on, into the next trough, and to the peak of the next swell. There is a lone tree, and I photograph it. 20