You may recall that, in the post "Much t-ado in Malta: Part One," I shared that, when I left Malta, I came back to Turkey. You may have been confused about that. You may recall that I too was confused about that. You may also recall that I wrote: "I promise that, as I know what is going on, I will tell all." Now, I will tell you.
When I left Turkey, I had booked a one-way ticket to Malta. I figured something would emerge while I was in Malta, pointing me to my next destination. I had thought all along that the direction might be Morocco. Turns out, it was not Morocco. It was back to Turkey.
The day before I was to leave Malta I still did not know where I was going next. I did not have a ticket to ride anywhere. In the song, the woman possessing the ticket to ride... "she don't care." I was, however, beginning to care... a great deal.
My (new) friend Ozden had texted what seemed to be a promising direction.
O: Where are you? Into USA?
Me: I'm in Malta... till Jan. 1. Then...?! Don't need to be back to the states till April.
O: Then where?
Me: Don't know!
O: So what u doing in Malta
Me: I'm cat sitting, officially till Jan 1. May stay a day or 2 after that. Am not sure what I'm doing next! Got ideas for me?!
Remember, this conversation was the day before I needed to leave Malta.
O: Come to Turkey
O: I will be alone in Antalya
O: You can stay in my house
You may recall that Ozden and I had met on the plane from Antalya to Istanbul, just before I left for Malta. He, his girlfriend Annette, and I talked about Energy work and me wanting to lead Retreats. They both told me about Olympos. Olympos is near Antalya.
Me: That is an amazing idea. I could check out Olympos!
Me: Are you in Istanbul or Antalya now?
O: I am in Istanbul right now
O: I will turn back at 2nd January
Me: Are you flying or driving? I'll be coming into Istanbul the 1st
Here you may have noticed that I made my decision. I would fly back to Turkey.
Me: I found flights. I can fly into IST Jan 1... arrive at midnight. Maybe I can book my flight from Istanbul to Antalya on your flight! What're the details of your flight?
And so, we made plans. I ended up paying a ridiculously expensive price for my plane fares from Malta to Istanbul and then Istanbul to Antalya. I did wait till the last day to book my flights, so... that is totally on me.
I ended up staying at a hotel the night I arrived in Istanbul, which, luckily, was ridiculously inexpensive. I ended up staying at the hotel a solid nine hours before I had to check out, because the hotel generously offered me an extended checkout time. I ended up arriving back at the airport 7-hours before the time of departure. I ended up meeting Ozden at our gate about 45-minutes before boarding time.
Ozden had been at the airport all day seeing Annette off. Annette was flying to Orlando, Florida to visit with her sister there.
By the time Ozden and I met up, Ozden was exhausted. I was reclining in a comfy chair in the middle section of the room surrounded by gates (including ours), working on my computer. I had been there for a while. I was feeling like this was another home-base. Ozden sat in the reclining seat next to me and instantly fell fast asleep. I was lulled by his snoring.
At some point, I heard "Final call for Gate 9B. Gate 9B will be closing." I shook Ozden awake, packed my computer, and we walked the 20 feet or so to our gate.
It was too late. "The gate is closed" the attendant said. "Is the plane still here" I asked. "Yes" he said. "Then we can just get on" I pleaded. "You cannot" he said. "The gate is closed."
You know, I do not feel I need to keep relearning a lesson here. I am saying this out loud to the Universe. I want to get onto all my scheduled planes comfortably. Thank you very much.
Ozden got on his phone and paid the extra fee for a new ticket. I had paid extra to get a refundable ticket. I walked my way back through the airport to find customer service and switch my ticket to the next flight. I would switch to the same flight that Ozden had just switched to. It sounded simple. It was not.
One thing I have learned in Turkey is that it is very popular to say "no problem." I am no longer fooled by this. Sometimes, there is a problem.
Long story shortened...
I ended up paying about $70 extra to switch my ticket.
I did get on the next flight with Ozden.
My bags were on the plane we had missed, were sent back to Istanbul, and were not in Antalya when we arrived. It was the wee hours of the next day.
The airport delivered my bags to me the next day at about 14:00 (2 pm).
Ozden lent me a t-shirt and sweatpants to sleep in.
Ozden went to work (not too long after we had arrived) to learn that his boss had purchased a plane ticket for Ozden (for the next day) to go to Qatar for five months.
Ozden did not appreciate this nor want to be in Qatar for five months and so... quit.
Because the apartment (that we were in) was a company apartment, Ozden (and therefore me) would need to move out the following day.
Long story even shorter, it was a shit show.
I felt badly for Ozden. He was mighty angry and frustrated. He was not so over-the-top angry that it debilitated him, though. He organized for all or his and Annettes's (and their dog's) things in the apartment to be packed and sent to Istanbul. He visited the local University before leaving about doing more work for them. (Ozden is an architect and artist and I think has taught these subjects at University before). He got his plane ticket. He called Annette and talked with her. He did what he needed to do.
What all this did for me was to accelerate me getting to Olympos. I got onto Airbnb, booked a bungalow in Adrasan, and caught a taxi there. Done.
Maybe now, I thought, I will come to understand why I am here.
In my next post, I will tell you what unfolded in Adrasan.
It will be great to catch you up to now. We will get there. Or rather, we will be here, together, soon.