When we last left the group, our cyclist friends had split into smaller groups. Piero was the first one to arrive in the town of Mersin, only to realize that the promised shelter was actually a house of cards. Falling apart.
“We were the first to arrive in Mersin, and we immediately called the number of the guy who had offered us hospitality. He started talking very vaguely from the first moment. Anyway we managed to get an appointment, so we could see things more clearly. When the guy saw that there were just four of us he exclaimed: “Thank goodness. My parents are at home, they didn’t leave and now I cannot accommodate everyone. ”
Our world fell on top of us. We were quite tired, among other things. He led us to his house. We had to leave the bikes in the yard and already this kind of scared us. We entered the apartment, and were met by the stare of an old-fashioned Muslim-style father, and a mother who was evidently very embarrassed. We took a shower, more or less. We could not wash our clothes. We felt completely out of place. We slept in the living room and the next day the guy told us that we had to get out of the house. We left after breakfast and tried to get some news of the others. We spent a few days waiting for them to arrive in this vast, new city, a city built round its harbor.”
“We did shows, and after the first one we were invited to perform in a rather ambiguous club. There we just played some music, no one seemed to want to help us, and in the meantime night was falling. I don’t remember where we slept that night, but I remember the two consecutive rainy days when we had to sleep under bridges. That’s when I really had a taste of a bum’s life. Everything was very dirty. The city chock full of kids sniffing glue from paper bags. They looked like zombies moving in herds, with these bags. Totally harmless, because of the drug. They were rather annoying, but unable to steal from us. A truly sad scene, which we tried to downplay by teasing them.”
“The others took forever to arrive, but at least the rain was over. We slept for a night or two in a bar under construction, on the waterfront. Nice, finally. Then we get an email from the other group, they were 30 km from us, in the cottage of a family that had adopted them as part of their own family. They just couldn’t leave, that’s how good they were. And we were sleeping under bridges…”.
On the way to Famagusta
“Finally, we were reunited with the rest of the group. And we tried to figure out how to get to Cyprus, where we had been told that winter is not so cold. “Why not,” we said. We left the same day and we arrived in Famagusta. The island of Cyprus went through a deathly war 40 years ago, when the Greeks were attacked by the Turks. We often spoke about it while on the island. We had to leave Scuccia, the stray dog who had traveled with the circus since Bosnia, in quarantine, and that broke our hearts. We did a first show there, then we got on our bikes in the warm weather and enjoyed a nice swim in the sea after the cold we had suffered in Cappadocia a week earlier. “