RC Rocks Memoirs Memoirs - October. 2013 - Page 2

A Quick Stop at the Gas Station


It was probably around 2005 or so; I remember I was about 5. It was the first time I went abroad and I sure was excited as hell. “Now, don’t you worry, darling, we won’t ever leave you alone. It’ll be fun; I promise,” said mum. Naturally I believed her and it did relieve me.

It was our first day, a pretty tiring one I can say. We checked into our hotel. It was a small, lovely one in an Italian town called “Monte Catini.” My sister and my father were so exhausted that they fell asleep even though they promised to rest only for 10 minutes. I really hate the time concept of Turkish people. Somehow 10 minutes always comes out to be an hour or two.

There was a city tour to Sienna; unfortunately, only mom and me seemed eager to join it. There was a two-hour bus drive but it was totally worth it- at least I thought so. My sister and dad were still asleep so it was only mom and I. We took our seats and the tour guide started to talk. It was full of useless stuff, as usual. I think we were half the way when the bus stopped at a gas station. It was out of the town, a lonely station placed in the woods. Mom was still sleeping and I wanted to go out to use the rest rooms, so I did. I was such a courageous, mad kid back then. I had no phone, no English, no Italian, no money and I was stepping out of the bus. I saw the universal toilet sign and started running to it.

Not many cars were in the parking lot when I got out, just some Arabic tour busses parked near the supermarket of the station. I sought out our tour bus but it was nowhere to be found. I was all alone in a creepy place, filled with nothingness except Arab tourists, and I was more angry than ever. I mean, who leaves a five-year-old child in a foreign place and doesn’t realize that? I wondered what mom was doing. She was probably sleeping in the bus like everyone else. Of course, only for 10 minutes…

I was sweating like hell. My head felt like it would explode. I couldn’t do anything. Couldn’t move couldn’t even think. I just sat on the walkway and stared at the sky. I thought of talking to someone but I didn’t know English, I barely talked Turkish, how was I supposed to speak another language?! Then I thought of calling my mother but I had no phone.

So, like any 5-year-old kid would do, I started to cry. Everyone was passing by but no one noticed me, or my tears. Yeah, I was crying but I wasn’t like any other 5 -year -olds. I knew I was different; so. after a few minutes, I got up and wiped my tears with the napkin in my left pocket.

I knew I had nothing with me, but I realized that no one would help me if I didn’t ask. So I marched in the shop. There was a sweet lady at the cashier’s counter. She approached me the moment I came in. She noticed that I had been crying, and then said something in Italian. “Qual è il problema, bambina? Ti sei perso? “

I knew she was trying to help but I couldn’t get a word she said. Amidst my sobs I remember my mother has put the tour guide’s phone number in my pocket I dug it out and gave it to her without saying anything. She understood immediately what I was trying to show; she grabbed her phone and called the guy. I had no idea what she told them but the bus was there to pick me pretty damn quick. It was such a relief. I ran to the bus and found my seat in no time. Being with Turkish- speaking people, especially near my mom felt so damn good.

The bus started moving, and there she was, weaving at me. The complete stranger who helped me. I had no idea who she actually was but she was my hero for sure.

Ayşegül Ayhan

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