Balkans 2016 – Day 1 : The wild swing of the Emotionometer

Sometimes you do not need to arrive to have an adventure. It’s starts the moment you leave your house. The drama started when checking in for my flight. I was almost to be denied boarding because I had booked a one way ticket and needed a proof of onward ticket. I had earlier been warned that this could happen by fellow tourers. I also researched that it also depends on the location and the carrier. Most carrier do this to protect themselves in the event the traveller gets denied entry and sent back. The carrier not only needs to send you back , they will also get a fine. The Airlines  are very strict about this. So they wanted me to buy a onward return ticket on the spot which I refused. Luckily I had a solution with a legitimate booked onward ticket with me as backup that I paid very little for ( less than 10USD ) and that got me off the hook and the finally allowed me to check in. If some of you want more details of this tai chi method just message me personally. 

Finally I am on my way now but still concerned if I would have problems at Istanbul immigration. I left Malaysia with mixed emotions. In  terms of my Emotionometer I was at 80% Anxious 10% Fearful and 10% Anticipation. 

Upon leaving Abu Dhabi for Istanbul the drama continues to unfold. The KL flight leaving for Abu Dhabi was delayed more that 1 and half hours due to some engine technical issues. They didn’t say exactly what the problem was but engine and technical and issue doesn’t sound all that assuring. Anyway as I sat in the window side of plane bound for Istanbul I was elated when the Captain announce that we would be able to see baggage being loaded. Great let me whip out my phone and take an Instagram moment while they load my bike box. Not a chance. To my horror, I saw the trolley with my box and bag along with other bags form the KL flight pull up the plane side and immediately was instructed to pull away and drove off ! At the moment there really nothing much I could do and watch my stuff carted off and already knew my bike and bag would not arrive with me at Istanbul. I Complained immediately to the crew but they say that’s not possible and told me  in any case they will  inform the ground crew and they would take care of it and that was that. Emotionometer just got dialed up twice!

Feeling helpless I decided to relax and dial down Emotionometer and just accept what comes when it comes. The flight was marginally bearable as I still have the the issue of getting pass immigration in my head. 

Turns out the process of clearing immigration at Istanbul was a joy and a breeze. I literally sail through the process.  So happiness and joy and Emotionometer swung go a different direction of 70% Joy 20% Anxoius 10% Excited. 

My flight landed 15 mins shy of 1pm local Istanbul time and after filling up the forms for the non arrival of my baggage and buying a prepaid data plan local SIM card , I got on a local a metro MRT was on my way to my warmshower host place at 330pm. The cost of the train ticket is 4 Turkish Lira. It was commical at the station as I was clueless how to get the tickets. Thankfully there are always nice local people to help. 

The bonus if you can call it a bonus is I now don’t have to unpack my bike set up and ride off from the airport. I now expect my bike and bag to be sent to where I am staying. 

I finally arrived at Mustafa’s home at Fatih around 430 pm  and settled in for the day. What a journey it was today. Tired but happy. Hoping for another swing to the Emotionometer when my bike and bag arrives tomorrow or not ?

Approaching Istanbul anc appreciating the vastness of the great city. Wow !
So looks like no bikes on the Metro. I am told foldies are allowed.
Do like the locals and take the Metro
Ok a gentle reminder that you are in Turkey
Main street leading up to Musatfas home. I am told national flags is being displayed all ovef thd city as a show of solidarity and patriotism after this years attempted coup
For bread lovers.
Dinner time and try something local. Turns out is more Syrian food as there are many Syrian that settled here.
Turkish tea a musf only 2 Turkish Lira
My dinner for today. A mix platter of hummus 10 Turkish Liras
A beautiful mosque near where I am staying. Even when it was rainiing i decided to walk around and have a closer look.

Author: krankster

I am an avid cyclist that loves mountain biking, bike commuting and most of all bicycle touring. I am a freelance leadership coach and hope to inspire others through my cycling adventures.

11 thoughts on “Balkans 2016 – Day 1 : The wild swing of the Emotionometer”

      1. Normal travel insurance only valid for travel to and from home country and not for onward travel if I’m not wrong . Unless you got yourself a tailor made insurance

      2. From my experience, you actually need to go buy some “essential” clothing and toiletries and use the bills for the claim once past the trigger deadline for delayed luggage. They won’t pay you just like that. A nice expensive winter rainjacket could be a good start. 🙂

  1. All the best Fooch from down under Melbourne Australia. I will be following your adventure with great interest. God bless that he keeps you safe health and out of harms way. SG.

  2. Hi Yong, happiness is the “journey” enjoy yourself while waiting for your ride and parcel to arrive soon. No worries. Cheers !

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