An Entry from John the Turk in Romania - August 9th-10th
Before all this madness began, in a quieter place, south Limburg, a wonderful creation was born. For Ben's 25th birthday, two darling angels, one German Ineke and one Dutch Marjolijn, created a diary purposed to house the memories of the Hajji. Black and leather bound, it proudly shows the Hajji on its face and the word Hajji is delicately woven into its smooth surface with red and gold thread. We have been using this diary since beginning the trip and everyone who enters into the van is obliged to make at least one entry. This is John's....
"Canadians in a VW with NL Plates and Buddhist Flag-lets stand out in a crowd....this must be Europe! I'm green with envy, I hope to be doing the same sometime soon (I'll need a driver's license...)
Awesome night at an awesome campsite, you guys are the most insane crowd of characters I could ever imagine to run across in 'downtown' Sighisoara and bum a ride with absolutely no money to Budapest....you guys rock
It's been an amazing experience, what with the unhappy rhythm of the non-starting engine, the cool bonfire at night, you pissing in a plastic bottle, stashing booze under seats, and all the random insider jokes I didn't get...
I wish I could offer something to make up for the hospitality and kindness; I'd be thrilled to put you guys up once I have a place of my own (if you can tear yourselves from Khameer and Hasan and Acar)...or maybe (once I have my own super-cool Hajji knockoff) I'll give you guys a lift someday.
Peace (and thanks)!
Ozgur Can Leonard ('Johnny')
(hitchhiker with beard from Turkey.....I have a feeling this honey-on-moustache is a bad idea)"
We picked up Johnny in Romania in the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler and he travelled with us for a couple days en route to Sziget festival in Budapest. He was a real delight. Just a little taste of some of the happenings of the Hajj. A write up of this part of the adventure looms.....