Km counter: 41640 today: 419 sum: 6522
N37°33’59” E045°03’40” – N38°17’37” E041°59’43” – google doesnt allow to cross sero border so its the more south route of what you see at that link.
Early in the morning somebody is knocking at the window again. I block whatever and he asks me to move a little. Its cold anyway so I move to the sun and sleep another hour. Last night it started to smell like petrol inside because the waste water tank is connected to the inside by tubes of course. I blocked them but obviously not enough. At night I blocked the sink with a candle and some wax so the smell is gone by now. I just but toothpaste and brush in the sink to cover the candle – looks fine to me, even if they really search me they wont look below the toothbrush I guess. I clean all the car and then make a walk to the money changer. I don’t find anyone who wants to change euro – they all want dollars! Its crazy, but they don’t want tourist euro, they prefer terrorist dollar! However I meet Mr. Hossein about whom I had read already in a blog. He helps me to find a place to change my cash to Lira and then I show him suryananda. When he leaves he tells me there will be no problems at the border but that I am not allowed to take more petrol than in the original tank…. Well…
I leave Orumiyeh around ten o clock and less than an hour later I am at the border. I stopped five km before at the petrol station so I am carrying a total of nearly 130l in the original tank, the waste water tank and the spare tanks in the back… Iranian side is quickly. They stamp carnet and passport and then I drive to the gate. Even before I cross the line I already see the looks of the customs officers. I cross the line and they direct me directly to a hall to examine me and suryananda closer. Damn! Its like always two guys – a nice one and a bad one. I don’t care and try to be friendly to both of them.
They look inside the doors, inside the upper closets and all the obvious places everybody looks. The “bad guy” tells me that he believes that I smoke hashish. I tell him I don’t take any drugs and that believing without prove is a bad thing. We had a discussion about religion when he was checking my books so I tell him that first people start to believe (like I have hashish) then their believing becomes obsession (like searching my car for drugs for an hour without finding anything to prove I consume such) and they lose their view for the real things (like 60 fucking liter of petrol!). And I tell him to get dogs or an x ray of my car. He doesn’t believe but he says they have neither at the moment. The good guy is pleased after 45 minutes but the bad guy doesn’t believe that I have nothing on me and keeps searching. After half an hour more (in which he stopped being the bad guy – its hard to keep that up when searching suryananda finding mostly instruments, massage stuff, yoga and religious books like Koran, bhagavad gita…) he gives up too and I go to get my visa.
Again this takes time and while I am sitting with a police officer filling the forms the “bad guy” appears again telling me they want to check us again. Now they will find the petrol, I think, I am fucked! Again I drive suryananda into the hall and now more customs officers appear and search. They are too sure I have something – they believe to KNOW it. Now there is not only 4 guys in uniform who are searching me but two more with suits and ties who are just standing around doing nothing probably waiting for the press to come to take pictures of them with the tons of dope they believe I have.
The good guy from before is not here anymore. They search again the same half of the car they had already searched before, with the same result of course. They start to like me in a way and take pictures of me and suryananda even though it is obvious we will never be friends. But I don’t have nothing of what they are searching for so what to do? At the end we all smile at each other and shake hands when saying goodbye. Some of them even tell me they are sorry for searching (but “its my job” – so learn something decent, idiot!, I think).
After nearly three hours searching now they tell me they believe me – there is nothing! I have difficulties to keep calm at that moment. I kept calm and friendly the last three hours playing that stupid game but know as I have won I star shaking a little. The “bad guy” looks at me and asks if I need insulin so I agree. He wants to watch me injecting as he has never seen this before…. Nevermind. Finally I proceed to the gate to turkey where the officer refuses to let me in because suryananda is not marked in my passport! DAMN! Back again! I take all the papers I need and go back to the customs office. Its totally different guys so I don’t see any of the ones who where there for searching me again. The officer tells me there is a problem blablabla. I don’t get it! He tells me that suryananda seems to be still in turkey! I remember them having a computer problem when I left turkey so probably the information about us leaving got lost. I am already afraid about the same thing like at the Indian border but then an old guy in a “Narkotiks” jacket shows up and helps me solving the problem within ten minutes. He is probably the one who is responsible for the long search as the “bad guy” told me several times that it was for sure not his idea to search me again. 20 minutes later I am on the road to Baskale.
Soon its getting dark. I buy 20l more petrol from a smuggler so I have enough petrol for three days at least. 150km further than Adana. We climb up the highest mountain pass of our journey at 2770 when its dark already. Going down I take a chai at a place I stood a night last time. Even though it’s a tiny village I see nobody I know and nobody seems to remember me.
Kurdistan is similar to Baluchistan only I have no escort here so the police treats me more or less like a terrorist. I am stopped five more times tonight with them sometimes being polite (police) and sometimes just jumping inside suryananda and making a mess and shouting at me (military). In Iran I would shout back at them and fuck them, they have another understanding of hospitality there. But here it is different – not that turks (military and police is not the kurds) are not hospitable but here they are under high tension. Like in Balochistan the police here has forts with tanks, machine gun towers and km of barbed wire around the forts. Traffic controls are made by at least 6 officers 4 of them having kalaschnikovs – in the villages there are watchtowers with machine guns pointed out at the people who live there! By the police! And if they do exist I believe they have been used in the past and might be used in future. The police here does not feel like police like I know it – It appears much more like they are invaders controlling a foreign country. Same story like in Baluchistan. (And to be honest – road condition is same like in Baluchistan too, but like in the Pakistan part of Baluchistan) At one point my sd card is full and I stop for a moment to move the pictures to the computer. Just to recognize at one of the searches they broke the screen of the computer. I am pissed now – this might be the end of the blog, the end of the pictures… I decide to go to Adana as fast as possible and try to fix it there before I give up. After the fifth police check I give up driving tonight and stop at the next petrol station car park. It’s a nice place in the mountains and I fall asleep within seconds. It was an exhausting day!