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Language Tangles Part 2
Submitted by Tiffany on 16 May, 2011 - 18:05
As I've already said we're a group of mixed nationalities, which has caused some amusement, even the Yanks are using the loo now. The Aussies were asking about beach attire for Iran (we'll be visiting Caspian Sea resorts), they enquired about the suitability of thongs, I nearly fell off my chair in shock - didn't they realise how strict Iranian dress code is??? However they then reminded me that in Oz, thongs is how they refer to flipflops.
Al, our van driver is from Newcastle so for much of the time when he's talking there are looks of utter incomprehension on the faces of the Yanks and Aussies, and to be fair on some of the Brits as well, as he does have a strong Geordie accent. Mark and I are having to step in and translate many of Al's comments.
The riding is fantastic, the route is well thought out in that we've been making progress steadily eastward but getting into the countryside a lot with some interesting small roads through villages that seem almost biblical in appearance. The delights of Istanbul were hard to leave, the food, hammams (steam baths) and the Grand Bazzar. It was early morning as we departed and somehow everyone seemed to end up going in different directions despite the fact that we were supposed to be following the same route notes. Some riders even managed to go over the wrong Bosphorous Bridge, but not to worry, we all somehow ended up at the same place. Almost immediately as we entered the Asian side of Turkey we started to see snow-topped mountains in the distance, an ominous reminder of what lies ahead in Tajikistan. But, more immediately we've got the Eastern Turkish town of Erzerum to get past, and a few days ago it was reported that they've just had 10cm of snow.