I can't say for sure if it was because of us or because of the Black Sea coast, but since we left the green behind we have been doing much better. Unfortunately, our most important observation of the coast has nothing to do with the region, but with our ability to solve problems. Despite our lack of language skills, our problem-solving skills are quite impressive. Dropped cameras were replaced, roof racks screwed on and lost purses collected again. Unfortunately, this also took up all our time, which is why, despite our crisis professionalism, we want to refrain from creating new problems in the future. This has the great advantage that we have now actually started to look at things. After an evening meal, which hopefully someone else will report on in detail, the tent was harmoniously pitched. And even though the night didn't necessarily bring much sleep, the mood was so good that we were finally ready for culture. Our pronounced ignorance about religion, got not changed by the Sümela monastery, but the view was nice, the cave paintings were beautiful and there were informative videos about Jesus and Co. Top deluxe experience.
This was followed directly by the next revelation (apparently something has stuck from the monastery after all). The less that happens outside the window, the more we look out. And it feels like the tension between us decreases with every glance outside. Hand-surfing out of the open window also helps. I don't know why it's in the middle of nowhere, on an almost empty street. The internet is full of this on-the-road feeling, cheesy and meaningless alibi realisations about freedom and those really bad pictures of people having their picture taken from behind while looking into the distance - #fuckyou. But the reason we are in love with this feeling is perhaps precisely the absence of things like self-promotion and thoughts of others - that we finally arrive in the moment. All the meaner, then, to use precisely this innocent need for this feeling to instill in minors a chronic need to consume. But I think moral red flags now only exist on the internet as performative hashtags. Sophie Passmann is on to something when she says the internet has made her life worse. Of course, online banking and Google Maps are top-notch, no question, but for at least seven years now, all I can think of when I think of the internet are telegram groups of Saxon Nazi police officers, people who are sold via Whatsapp and absolutely everything that has to do with Instagram. And you can't escape it any more. When I'm driving on an empty road towards Iran through a pastel-coloured landscape, a very bad part of my head also tells me that now would be the perfect moment for a picture to tell the world how interesting I and my life are. A bit off topic now, maybe just briefly. I am honestly convinced that we would all be much better off without (or at least with a minimum of) social media.
To confirm this thesis, a counter-example. As soon as we enter a city we are mercilessly set back. When a hotspot and an iced latte are within reach, conversations about the blog, the unfortunately still existing Instagram account and our packing volume begin. Combine that with any kind of game where at least one person can lose, and we're heading for the next medium-severe crisis of purpose. Then we'd rather go back to the tent.
We go camping far too rarely - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7va7CNri80.
Nevertheless, we make some distance. An astonishing amount of distance, in fact. Juri patiently chugs along empty roads towards the east. As I sit in the car, not only is the sun slowly setting, but Ararat will hopefully soon be visible. That will put us on the same longitude as Baghdad. Unfortunately, this also puts us in a bit of a dead end, as we are more or less only confronted with closed borders or borders that can only be crossed with extreme effort. Armenia - closed. Iran - passable (but only with papers we don't have). Iraq - closed. Syria - closed. And this is not meant to be a student self-promotional statement - I generally find borders stupid - but much more unqualified. War sucks.