We are finding local people to be warm, welcoming and obliging. We’re having fun riding around by dolmuş (or dollies as we call them) though it’s taken us a while to get used to dolly drivers collecting fares and dispensing change as they drive at speed along the highway, swerving to avoid pot holes and untethered cattle. Kindly strangers occasionally stop to offer us a lift, including a sweet little old lady with impeccable English, who pulled over in her beaten up Beetle and gave us a ride into town. She seemed unperturbed at inviting two strangers into her car. Perhaps this is because Turkey is blessed with a low crime rate when compared to the West and, therefore, the associated fear of it is also blessedly absent.
By comparison, Clement fled England because his fear of crime had reached hysterical levels. He’d become terrified to venture out after dark, lest he might be mugged by the drug addicts and beggars who loitered menacingly at every corner. He considered himself lucky to have survived the ordeal. We listened sympathetically and enquired where he had lived thinking it might have been Moss Side or Brixton. ‘Dorchester,’ he replied.