Gulin Akoz, Dec.
In a conversation Jeff had said “This trip is not about
finding the right woman.”
Well… I had thought this trip was about finding the right
woman or the right man.
They say marriage is not about finding the right person but
being the right person. I believe there is something like a
right person, but yes, you have to be the right person as well.
I define the function of relationships as
f(x+y) < 1 if x, y < 1
f(x+y) > 2 if x, y = 1
To translate this… if you are not a whole person in the
first place, then you won’t become one when you are with
someone. It will only enlarge the void within you. On the other
hand, if you have a strong character and your feet step(?) firm
on the ground then you’ll be complete and together you
can make more than 2. I dare anyone to say that 1 plus 1 does
not make 6! :) It’s my function, I can define it however
I like :)
I thought that this trip was more than just a round-the-world
challenge. Thought it was about rediscovering yourself, who
you are and what you really want to do with your life. Thought
it was about getting lost to find anew. Thought it was about
learning from other people and cultures, getting rid of all
your prejudices so that you can build a new self with 32 or
whatever years of experience.
Growing within, deeper into the ground...
Growing without, higher into the sky.
I can hear Jeff saying “Big words from the Turkish girl”
Yes, I confess :) I like big words.
I force myself to get up from bed. After all, I didn’t
come here to sleep. I’m going to Uruguay.
I head to the port. There is a ferry at 9 to Colonia. It is
22 greens (USD :) round-trip. Both of the guide books we had
said it was 33 one way, that there was 8 $ tax and all countries
needed a visa. Well, I did not! I buy my ticket and go through
immigration in 10 minutes. And no tax. Never trust everything
you read, always check for yourself before giving up.
I meet an American photographer, Daniel Reilly. He says “I
have to go to Colonia every 3 months.” ??! Have to?? Oh,
because his tourist visa expires. He’s been living in
Buenos Aires for 8 months now. He looks at my business card.
“So you’re a photographer, too?” he asks.
Well… I commemorated myself as one :) My university degree
says I’m a mechanical engineer, but that’s only
a title and a diploma is just a piece of paper :)
We go on chatting. He explains that Argentina is in a state
of alert now. People were fed up with the ineptitude of the
government, they were complaining of substandard living conditions,
they asked supermarket owners to give them food, the owners
said no and they started looting!! Now the strange things that
I did not understand yesterday start to make sense. So that
was why we were stopped by the police at the highway and told
to be careful. The hurried men throwing things from the truck
were looters! So that was what all the commotion was about last
night. A long crowd was marching on the main avenue with pots
and pans in their hands, drumming and clapping.
2.5 hours go by quickly, the ferry reaches the shore. I ask
the tourist information if I can go to Montevideo for the day.
No, it’s too far away to go for the day. Okay then I’ll
go and see Colonia.
Colonia del Sacramento was founded in 1680. The Portugese and
the Spanish fought over this marvellous land. It occupies a
strategic position right across Buenos Aires.
Barrio Historica, the historical center, is only four blocks
from the port. I first grab a big pastry with something like
spinach in it. Yummm, it’s tasty! I walk on the cobblestone
streets, every single building here seems to have a different
story to tell, the run-down car left on the side of the street
brings back the 50’s, I go to the feria of town (the marketplace)
and buy old coins, then visit Museo del Azulejo which has been
overlooking the river for 300 years now.
Walking along the beach I stop every 10 meters to take photos
of children playing in the sand, swimming, crying. The girls
here like their photos being taken.
5 km to the west from Barrio Historica is Real de San Carlos.
At the beginning of the century an Argentinian entrepreneur
Nicolas Mihanovich invested 1.5 million USD for a 10,000 seat
Plaza del Toros (bullring), 3000 seat jai alai fronton (jai
alai is a Latin American game played with baskets attached to
the arm to catch and throw the ball), a racecourse and a hotel-casino.
All that is left to day is the hippodrome. The rest is…
ruins. And there’s a small two-room paleontoligical museum
in town which has big turtle shells.
I take a different road on the way back and walk through the
forest. A woman says “Good afternoon,” smiling.
And the thing to note is that you cannot tell I’m a tourist
here. People are just friendly. In a guide book it says:
One of the first Portugese navigators to come to this place
was Pero Lopes de Souza. In his diary he wrote “This is
the most beautiful land that I never could have imagined to
see.” A Venetian at the service of Castilla, Sebastian
Caboto had the same impressions. But the native Indians were
so hostile that he soon abandoned his plans of construction.
Now, 500 years later, Uruguay has the same natural beauties
but something has changed. The natives are proud to receive
visitors, to make conversation and if possible to drink a cup
of mate (tea made from an evergreen tree) with them. Here, people
still have time to chat, to observe the fields, the sunset,
the rivers, the sand and the sea…
Yes, that seems to be correct. Two old couples tete-a-tete
on the street, through the flowers in the window I see a man
taking a siesta. Life is so tranquil.
I go back to the historical center. Now it’s dessert
time. I sit by the water under the big tree beneath the lighthouse
and watch the sunset.
Walking to the port, I feel tired but content. I’ve had
such a pleasant, quiet day in Uruguay. I’m so jealous
of myself, jealous of all the friends I have, jealous of all
the places I’ve been to, jealous of the photos I’ve
taken, jealous of the people I’ve met. I could have been
more jealous if I spoke better Spanish!
I say “Okay.. I really cannot go on with this trip!”
I’m far too happy! There has to be a limit to everything
good. Otherwise how am I going to be satisfied later on? It’s
like having to increase the dosage of pills when you use them
Back at the hotel. Jody asks if I went to Montevideo. “No,”
I say, “I went to Colonia.”
“So how was Colonia?”
I answer “Better than Montevideo” :)
Jeff says matter of factly, “There was a revolution here.”
I know, I watched it on TV on the ferry. “This was the
best day on this entire trip,” he says with excitement.
Jeff is like a 7 year old boy who has triumphed the evil dragon
:) recounting how he had tear gas in his eyes, how he was right
in the middle of riot, the revolution, the history…
Now I’m jealous of him! Not literally of course. It’s
just that I wish I could have seen it, too. Unfortunately, you
cannot be in two places at the same time. I can’t decide
which I would have preferred if I knew there was going to be
a revolution that day.
I wouldn’t want to give up my peaceful day, but I missed
all the action.
It seems like… two contrasting days… both equally
Flashback: As I am walking back to our hotel, through the San
Martin Plaza, a question keeps going over and over in my head
“How could I be happier? All this is so perfect. How could
it be better?”
The wind answers my question… I hear the melodious smell
My mind has a different answer… It speaks up to say “All
this could be so much better with someone special.”
But at this moment, we are so happy… me and my solitude