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What Happened in Pisa, Didn`t Stay in Pisa…

yunanistan6IMAG0358_1bolu varadero turkiye toplantı 005.jpg(an Unforgettable Motorbike Travel)

 

From Turkey to Italy travel on motorbike a few years back…

 

At first, I and my travel buddy moved to Cesme, Izmir to take a ferry going to the port of Brindisi, Italy with our own motorbikes. We were on board the ferry for nearly 3 days. It was an amazing and different experience for us. In truth, the journey at sea wasn’t comfortable. For economy class,  we were given a kind of chair to sit on for days and no bed of our own for accommodation. Therefore, we had to sleep on the floor. Nevertheless, I could still say that, overall, we had a lovely journey at sea. I enjoyed the amazing view especially in the night time. I felt like I was flying on the water. There was only water around us.

 

Three days later, around 5 in the morning, we arrived at the port of Brindisi. Such a relief that there were cafes and restaurants in the area because we were starving. Moreover, we missed our bikes and were really impatient to ride them and explore Italy.

  

Right after we had breakfast, there was no time to waste. We got on our motorbikes and started to hit the routes Bari-Napoli-Rome. It was really fantastic! A ride of a lifetime.

 

On the 2nd day of our journey, we moved from Rome to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. On the way, we passed many nice and small villages, as well as lakes. When we got to Pisa, we had to find a legal parking space for motorbikes for 3 Euros each. Then we moved on to take photographs. While I was preoccupied with taking photos and learning about some architectural structures, most probably someone was also getting preoccupied with my motorbike. However, I was too engaged in capturing photos to even notice what was probably going on.

 

And when we came back an hour later, alas, my bike was nowhere to be found! I was really shocked to realize that it`s gone. Right away we called the police. The funny thing was that the Police Station, being merely 30 meters away from where I had parked, said that their city was theft-free. And so we were advised to go to Carabinieri military police to report stolen property. But there was another problem – all my belongings were on my bike. And the clock was ticking…it was almost 6 o`clock and the day was coming to an end…but there hadn’t been any positive response.

 

Not knowing what to do or where we could go, I and my buddy got on his motorbike and just decided to search every street and narrow ways in Pisa by ourselves. We were in desperation! We searched all night…in vain. Our efforts were in vain, mainly because that place was foreign to us. I remember it was past 11 at night when we found a parking lot for Campers and we slept on a bank. As if my day wasn’t worst already, I found new acquaintances – mosquitoes. It was the longest night of my bike trip.

In the morning, we went back to the police station to inquire, hoping there was some progress in the search. However, all they could say was that my bike could have been either on the way to Florence or already somewhere there. The point was that they were not actually committed and sincere to help us find it. And that was when I realized that only I had to find it myself.

 

When that realization hit me, I and my buddy walked to the big square in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. We walked around that exact same place where I parked it…all day long.

 

 And then we noticed some Algerian guys selling some pills and kind of drugs. I approached them and as I tried to talk with them they were so nervous. That’s when I understood that they must have an idea who stole my bike! I realized that I needed a greedy type who can lead me to where my bike could be found. One of those guys approached me and asked how much it cost. And so I offered to give him 500 Euros if he would tell me where it was. At first he said he had no idea. However, after 2 hours that we were still there walking, trying to find any clues, that same man came up to me saying “If I tell you something, will you go to the police?” Then I gave him my word that I surely would not do so. “I have 3 bambino,” he continued to say.

 

Then he brought me to an uninhabited train station and then to an abandoned swimming pool.

And Voila! There`s my bike! And my belongings on the trees and scattered on the ground.

Two men were sitting in front of it. As soon as they saw me, there was shock in their faces and then began to discuss with each other wondering who led me to them, followed by their loud barking in Italian and so I barked back loudly in Turkish too. With my hand in my pocket, I wanted to make them think that I had a gun or something else for my defense. After 5 minutes of loud barking, they lost their courage and left. Luckily enough, I had a spare key. I guess they had sold my helmet and jacket as soon as they could…but I was so happy that I found my bike and I could finish my travel!

 

That was an unforgettable part of my Italy adventure, indeed.

But what happened in Pisa, did not stay in Pisa…

When Boom Boom doesn`t mean “fun” anymore…

In English, the word BOOM is associated with something that denotes celebration and fun…like the sound of the fireworks and the loud beating of the drums. In addition, we may also associate this word with explosion. Even in comic books and cartoons, the word BOOM (usually written in uppercase) functions as an onomatopoeia because that is the best way to emphasize loud force, explosion or impact.

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This is a story about when traveling abroad can have unexpected and humorous twists, most especially when it comes to culture shock and LANGUAGE BARRIER.

Three years ago, I went on a rafting adventure in Indonesia. On the raft, there were 20 of us plus the guide. While we were rafting down the river, conquering the currents, the adrenaline rush was taking over me. Despite the fact that I was wearing some safety gear, as the raft was taking us downstream, I feared for my life! I am certain everyone on that raft felt the same as I did.

And then the young local captain of that adventure just came up with an original idea of his own on how to “go with the flow.”  And so every time the raft rushed down the stream, he would scream out loud the words BOOM, BOOM! Like every time!  Along with those words, he would laugh with so much energy and enthusiasm. I got so carried away with both the adrenaline rush and fear that I, too, began to say the words BOOM, BOOM! out loud…until almost everyone on that raft did the same.

Therefore, during the whole expedition, we would counter the sudden rush and bumps by screaming BOOM, BOOM! And every time we did so, the captain would laugh! The sort of laugh that was really contagious. It was like everyone on that raft really cooperated with him. He was our captain after all !?

After the hour-long rafting expedition, merely out of curiosity, I asked someone to explain to me what BOOM meant in English. And that was when I learned that those words did not mean “fun” at all!

BOOM is an Indonesian word for F**K!

We looked like fools throughout that rafting adventure…as we said the words out loud while laughing and thinking that we were having an adventure of our lives.

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