Update, and check out Outside!

Creeping Blandness Prevention Group has been blogging at Outside Magazine, so everyone make sure you’re checking out our posts there as well!

Saturday night, when we tried to go through the border from Bulgaria to Turkey, we were informed that the plates on our car did not match the plates on the registration. Apparently we failed to acquire the new plates in France! The border guard suggested we might be able to get through at the Greek border, Ipsala. We backtracked and headed toward Greece. While waiting at the border line, literally 10 meters from Greece, our car suddenly began idling rough and puking white, anti-freeze-smelling smoke from the tailpipe. Uh-oh…

We turned around and headed for the nearest gas station which turned out to be Eurooil 2002 in Svilengrad, Bulgaria. We rolled up and pantomimed with the gas station attendants until they finally agreed to drag their auto-mechanic friend a.k.a “the Maestro” out of bed. The Maestro arrived and promptly shoved a water hose into our coolant overflow tank. After much massaging of hoses, he told Anand to start the car again. About a gallon of water flew out the tail pipe! This elicited much shaking of heads.

Maestro determined that he could fix it, but he wouldn’t get the part until Monday. Rather than spending the night in a field infested with gigantic jumping spiders and who knows what else, we decided to take the night train to Istanbul. This was hilarious on many levels. You can read more about it on the Outside blog (link fixed, thanks Mom Patil!). The team saw the sights around Istanbul for 2 days and then headed to Dikili, south along the Aegean coast, to visit Sarah’s music teacher, Husnu, Husnu’s mom Akile, and his son, Oral. After two more lovely days trying to figure out logistics from the stunning and sweaty beaches of the Aegean coast, we finally hit upon a plan:

Yet again, Camille proved an invaluable ally by getting her mother to make new a new plate for us and overnight it to Istanbul, where the ladies would pick it up from Cordial House Hostel, where we’re staying. With the help of Andrew’s Bulgarian friend Ina and another friend Matt, we have been able to locate the car at the Maestro’s place and the boys went to get the vehicle. Right now the boys are in Greece trying to get through the other border and the girls are in Istanbul and hopefully the car is soon to be united with its new plates (either at the border or in Istanbul) and then we can get the heck through Turkey and on to more Eastern destinations!

P.S. Anyone who’s heading to Istanbul soon should definitely check out our new favorite breakfast place, Erhan Cafe and Restaurant. It only opened a couple of weeks ago, but Erhan is so exceedingly nice that when we ordered breakfast the other day he said “of course, come in” and then had to send out some little messenger boys to buy the vegetables at the market! And when Anand wanted cream for his coffee, he went out and bought that too! Not only was it one of the cheapest meals we’ve had since arriving in Istanbul, it was by far the best, featuring home-made cherry jam and orange-peel marmalade. CBPG gives it 5 stars all the way!

One Comment

  1. Mom Patil says:

    Second Outside Blog Link is not working. (First one is okay.)

    You all have good friends.