It’ll really knock my socks off if I’ll only go once just the usual way through a border, just once…. Dude, where is the Oman customhouse!? I need to have a stamp on my passport but there isn’t any border gate. I’ve left UAE. Well, I can ride back ask where the border gate is, but then they won’t let me back in. The officers at the border don’t speak English. Aha, there is an Arab. Let me ask him:
– Hey! Buddy! (Traveling for the last two years in Arab world you call buddy)
– Thank you. Where is the customs office?
– 50 km ahead. There is no customs office here.
I thought he was kidding me. How come?! I’m already in the city! I check from GPS, I’m in Al-Buraime town. It looks like I entered Oman but have no entrance stamp on my passport meaning my entrance date is unknown. That’s no good. Let’s take that I’m involved in a fight or theft, I’m physically in the country but not officially. Just at the entrance of the town there was a hotel. I went to the reception. Luckily its owner was there. He helped me. I had to get my passport stamped at the next custom office 50 km away from the border. It is noon time, 1 p.m. Well, no way, I can’t ride all the way back. “If you make a discount I would like to stay overnight in your hotel. I travel on bike coming from Turkey.” I paid only 14 USD, half of the regular price. He also arranged a taxi for which I paid only 6 Oman Dirhem for 80 km distance. A taxi in Muscat won’t take you 5 km for this amount of money. I left my bike at the hotel and went to the custom office. This was not in the direction I would go. I’ll get my passport stamped, that’s all. I went to the officer. He inspected my visa. He was just about to stamp, I don’t know why but all of a sudden I had a strange feeling and asked “this visa is for one month, isn’t it?” “No, you have got only 10 days’ visa.” Hahaha. How come, only 10 days’ visa? I had applied for a one month’s visa in Dubai! But was given only 10 days’ visa!
– Alright, I’ll pay the rest for a one month’s visa
– It not that easy, you have to apply for a new visa.
– Dude, I’ve already a visa. It is like a stamp, not in form of a normal visa. Just write the new datum on top of it.
– No, we can’t
At the end I got the visa but had to pay 200 Riyal. The money I saved by low hotel and taxi prices has gone for the new visa. Every cloud has a silver lining. The border crossing had this way to go. I went back and checked in the hotel. As I have time let me take care of my bike. There is a problem with the dynamo. It either doesn’t produce electricity, or the transistor doesn’t work or the shelf life of the battery is over. I couldn’t find out the defect. When I had an accident in Saudi Arabia my bike got a serious stroke at the front wheel. Since that time I’ve this problem. I couldn’t find a test light in the hotel. I took out a metal sheet from my kitbag, divided it into two pieces and then contacted to positive and negative poles. At the same time I was turning the wheel. Hummm… There is current. Then the problem is somewhere else. And I can’t fix it. I need to find an electrician. I went to the industrial part of the city but couldn’t find anyone to fix the problem. My bags are breaking apart from the seams. The front rim is worn out, I have a hole in my shoe sole…. : ) Why to push so hard? Things have to change. But my doggedness, let’s see what it will bring me to. Somewhere they’ll blowup somehow for sure.
I went to Bank Muscat to withdraw some money. 1 Oman Riyal is 2.5 USD. A 1.5 L bottle of water costs 0.50 USD. Aside Muscat the prices are cheap. A big meal for lunch costs only 2 USD. On the road I mainly cooked pasta. During my Oman trip I spent 5 USD per day wild camping. What happened: I could withdraw only 20 Riyal (50 USD) at the ATM though I had enough money on my account. I also tried other banking cards I had. With my credit card I could also withdraw only 50 USD. That was more than enough. But I must mention that my bank cards didn’t work here.
At the hotel the receptionist was Egyptian. We talked about Egypt with him. Due to turmoil in his country after graduation from university he went abroad. Since he speaks both Arabic and English he came to this geography. His goal is to work for one of the hotels in Dubai. I’m sure he’ll succeed in shortest time. This is the second city which I believe will be an endless construction area after Tokyo.
Since I’m not intending to ride down to coastal line I’ll continue towards Al-Sunainah after Al-Buraimi and then to Ibri. A desert route of about 160 km which I checked from Google Map. Dude, once again there is nothing, just emptiness. Let me get prepared. After the long break in Dubai I still couldn’t regain my full touring performance. Honestly I was expecting aches on my body after this long break but have no problems. I fixed at 70 km ride per day. I’ll need two days to traverse this area.
By the way, after UAE the environment has significantly changed. The quality of the road, architecture and the environmental cleanup, everything is different. But the most striking feature was that ordinary people were working in Oman. I haven’t seen before native people working as taxi driver or cashier in Arabian Peninsula. I’ve got informed later on that only Oman citizens were allowed to work as taxi drivers. In each family there are one or two taxi drivers for sure. I must say that the prices in cities and villages differ a lot.
Since I preferred to ride on side roads only from time to time a car was passing me. Nobody stopped or horned. I came to a different customs gate after 50 km. The police officers recognizing me made me stop aside. They directed me to a building on the side of the road to show my passport. The police officer checked my passport and said in Arabic: “This man had gone to the other gate and received his visa from there and now he is here.” In the mean time I have started to understand Arabic a little. At least I understand what about it is talked. After applying the stamp they directed me and my bike to the customhouse. Let’s see what’ll happen.
They wanted me to open my bags. I started with the front bags hoping they may not take a look in the rear ones… They are inspecting and at the same time are congratulating me. You came all the way from Turkey, etc… Their superior also comes telling me they’ll do their best to help me and welcomes me. Then, they wanted me to open my rear bag. On top of it was my tent. He took the tent out.
– What’s this?
– For photographing.
– And this?
– It’s a remote controller.
– That is, it is a helicopter.
– Well, that’s a problem!!
It is always better to play the innocent. Oman has even a law for drones.
– You may record videos or take photos of the military bases.
– I’m not that fool. I’m carrying this equipment since a long time (it is a lie, I just bought it recently). I visited so many countries and was never faced with such a problem.
After a long discussion I was able to convince them. Actually this issue is very serious. Carrying a drone with you can’t just say “Hi, I’m here. I want to make a touristic visit in your country” and on top of it without related permission it is really difficult to enter a country. Anyway, this drone will most probably be seized in one or another country and even I might get arrested if I get caught while using this drone. Well, I know diplomacy customs. And yes, I have a gift for gab. But you cannot dig in your heels always (enough is enough)!
By the way the temperature didn’t change due changing the country. My thermometer still shows between 50-57 °C. But, in the mean time I gained another experience. I used to camp whenever I got tired or just at a suitable place. One night I did the same. The place looked quite suitable for camping. Open sky, little sand, not so stony area. Though all the ventilation and doors of the tent was open I incredibly got hot. After a time, I couldn’t stand inside and went out of the tent. Outside was quite pleasant. All the tent doors were open. So what was the matter? I sat down on the air mattress. Dude, it is still hot! Just as if I was lying on it a second ago. I lifted the mattresses checked the tent floor, it also was hot. I went out and picked up one of the stones. Heeee. Dude, these were volcanic stones. Now, I got it. Next time I’ll pay attention to this issue which I haven’t before. I have been traveling for six years and I don’t remember how many times I put up my tent, camped. Learning process on the road continues as long as you are on the road. I’m sharing or mention during a conversation my experiences on the road. There is not a special topic I’m an expert of.
One day while I was pedaling at really very hot weather. I thought “Dude, how I would wish to come to a gas station somewhere around. I could wet my clothes to chill down.” After just 2 km I came upon an electrical water dispenser. Someone drilled a well in the desert, connected the water line to a filter with an illegal electric connection from a pole. Cold water is running from dispenser. God bless you. This looks like: The issue of rain in Algeria or the bread loaves in Turkmenistan or the cup of coffee in Finland, or, or, or, or…. (I shared this on Facebook, a follower made a comment asking me why I didn’t show my appreciation by saying god bless you. Someone who knows me, following my shares and also knowing I’m a believer. He just doesn’t come to that I might have showed my appreciation right at the moment and gets annoyed why I didn’t write it down. While trying to explain things to the new followers I have lost a fellow..…)
When I entered the Ibri road, the traffic became denser but the speed remained the same since there were every 4 km radars equipped with solar panels. The speed limit is 120 km/h. On this road there are old water towers to which period they belong is not to my knowledge. They all are renovated and are still used. I tried to go inside one of them but its door was locked.
When I arrived in Ibri town I first saw the building of Tourism Ministry along the road. I first went there to ask whether they have a guest house or might host me. But this time it didn’t work. They made a few calls asking for hotel prices. Nobody hosted me and I stayed at a hotel. At the hotel recognizing me traveling on bike they reduced the price to half. I couldn’t visit the Portuguese castle in Ibri that day but had the opportunity to visit the bazaar and old constructions. In bazaar there were either tailors or barbers. There was a place where at least 15 barber shops were situated next to each other. Asking why there were so many barber shops in this country, I was told that at every single religious holidays and special occasions every man was going to barbers. Therefore, those shops were just enough.
Leaving the city I hesitated between two possibilities. There were two roads towards my destination. Which one to choose? : ). Within the day I experienced that I made the right decision. This decision led me to Ahmed. I came across the first grocery 60 km after I left the city. It was a small shop at the roadside. Just behind it were some ancient constructions. First I bought a few bottles of water and yogurt. The young man in the grocery was speaking English fluently. I got surprised and smiled. I sat down on the courtyard of the mosque next and ate, then laid down for a nap. It was time for noon pray time when I woke up. I saw that young man coming to mosque.
– Did you have lunch?
– Kind of.
– If you haven’t yet let’s eat together in my home.
– Not for lunch but I would like to accompany you for a glass of tea or coffee.
– I’ll be glad.
Ahmed graduated from the Marine Sciences Faculty of Masqat University last year. Well, this was the reason for his fluent English. He couldn’t find a suitable job in Muscat and returned to his home village. He’s running a grocery with his cousin. He also had run a trout farm in Damm a village to the east but since the farm required too much time and effort he couldn’t continue. In the meantime he had received 500 USD per month unemployment pay from the state for a whole year. We sat down on the floor of the assembly that is of the large living room as I’m accustomed by Arab hospitality. He first introduced his brothers, then spoke of me to his family and let the meal prepared. In the meantime his brothers offered me tea and coffee. His father also joined the conversation. He also spoke English quite well. He was one of the truck drivers of the company Shell in this region. Since he knew that I’m Turk:
-Your president Erdogan…. How is he, do you like him?
– He is the president of the Republic of Turkey. I’m away from Turkey since a long time. What do you think about him?
The reason why I talk like this is to listen what he has to talk. My opinions and feelings do not matter. It is much more important to me what an ordinary Oman citizen think. I listened to people talking about Tayyip Erdogan in all 10 Arab countries. Some like him some not.
– He has to end the war. I used to like him but not anymore due to his attitude towards Turks, Kurds and Syrians. He is the reason of tension and war in the region. If Turkey wants peace in this region it can reestablish as it already has done in the past.
I took a sip of coffee and tasted one of the dates, delicious. Meanwhile, I was examining the decoration of the house. These sitting sets were at most 10 years old which were used only when they had guests. They still sit on the floor as we were. What we were talking about: President Erdogan. I have been traveling for the last 5 years on bike and had the opportunity to observe how Turkish foreign policy has changed from then on away from my country. I have visited 42 different countries and don’t remember with how many diplomats I met and talked. My experiences on the road, my relationship with the foreign affairs ministry, having dialogues with the state officers of those countries changed my point of view to politics, diplomacy, peoples and borders. I see no harm to mention that I begun to feel uncomfortable about some experiences and knowledge I gained at the end of my 5 years travel life. There is so many things to talk and tell about but I prefer to use my right to remain silent as usual and listened to Ahmed’s father. Will it change the things if I share my own opinion about right or wrong or about what I know? No.
– Gurkan if you stay here today I would like to take you to the monumental tombs in Bat put under UNESCO protection program. Some of them were renovated by UNESCO.
– I thought they were in Al-Ayn only.
– No. They are found in two separate places.
– Alright then. Of course I’ll stay. I’m in no hurry.
He called his cousin to bring the car then we set off. Since I’m going to such an interesting place let’s fly the drone. You know I have replaced my old rear bag. This was because I’m using a drone which needs a suitable place to be placed in.: ) I have started to use my new equipment one by one.
In the car I keep asking questions about people of this region. My first question was again about educational system. Students receive scholarship, 500 USD per month in Oman. For a female student dormitory stay, meals are all free. In this Arab country both female and male students receive education. The educational system in Oman is mixed gender as it was in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Jordan, Palestine and Bahrain. But there are also alternatives for families which want to send their daughters to girl’s schools. In Saudi Arabia the schools were separate for female and male students. Only in one or two universities and schools belonging to Turkish Republic there was mixed gender education except in haram regions Mecca and Medina. Also in Qatar State University there is gender separation as was in UAE State University. I ask: “What about marriages? Do you pay bride token?” The answer is: “We do not give money to the bride’s family but directly to the bride. She has the right to use this money the way she wants”
While talking we came to the place he wanted to show me. Ahmed tells me that these monumental tombs date back to 3rd millennium B.C. I make a short internet search but do not find anything about this place. There are almost 50 monumental tombs located in a wide valley. It is obvious that a distinct area is renovated put under protection of UNESCO. That is there is a signboard and 6 monumental tombs surrounded by a fence.
– Ahmed do you know who built these graves?
– No Gurkan, I have no idea. But German archeologists researching this region found a stone tablet two months ago. This tablet belonged to the same period of the tombs with Hebraic inscription.
– It’s normal. There were many Jews in this region in pre-Islamic period.
– The name of Ibri is also Hebraic. We knew that Jews were living in this region in ancient times but had no evidences. With this tablet it was proven.
During my museum visit in Muscat in the next days the museum director also confirmed this information about the stone tablet. He told me the rare information about this region is due to that the research and excavation team has not completed and therefore published its work yet. In the next years there will be more information on internet about this region.
The next day after I set off on bike I saw the same monumental tombs in another village. It was harder to go to those tombs in Al-Ayn village compared to the ones in the other village. I had to climb a hill but the landscape was amazing.
I climbed to 1400 m altitude in this region. The temperature dropped down to 36 °C. I don’t remember when I could breathe that easily. I can say that almost every evening it rained after 6 p.m. in August. Throughout the period I traveled in the mountains it rained almost every day. But, when I came to Muscat the weather was pretty humid and hot.
Before arriving in Muscat I stopped in three towns: Bahla, Nizwa and Bidbid. It is possible to find Turkish citizens in all three towns. Just as I was standing in front of the Bahla castle Omani Suleyman cut my way:
– My friend what you are doing is amazing. I admire your travel on bike in my country. Please, be my guest this night.
I’ll never refuse a person inviting me to his house coming out of his car this way. I stayed that night in his house. In the evening he invited me to a Turkish restaurant. The owner of the restaurant was Huseyin. Suleyman: “Gurkan talk in English. I’ll tell them that you are a Turk. Let’s see whether they believe me.” I did this several times during my travel. I had also talked English with the Turks. : ). I do not fit into Turk and Muslim image incubated in foreigners minds. Also Huseyin believed that I was a foreigner. After he learned that I’m Turk he also invited me to stay at his house.
But I preferred to stay with Suleyman and observe social life in Oman more closely. Therefore I spent two days with him. Working life, marriage, patrimony, all the stories were really very interesting. Having two wives in Oman is somewhat problematic. Some men have second wives but hide from the other wife. I met 3 men in this situation. In the other Arab countries this situation was more relaxed.
After Bahla I went to Nizwa. Also here Turkish citizens invited me to their homes. Nizwa is the former capital of this country. It is possible to pass through the 400-500 years old town while pedaling among the side streets. The same is also true for Bahla. In both of these cities there are beautiful old city remains, but are unfortunately ruined and messy due to neglect. I saw Pakistani and Hindu living in those ruined buildings. Since the rents are high people are living in such houses renovating just enough to meet their needs. I have no information whether they pay a rent or not.
Along my route I visited Bidbid castle dating back to 16th century. I also put my tent up in this castle for one night. That day was very humid and hot. I thought I would be nice to take a shower in the water channel which had also been used by the soldiers of that time. The water seemed clear and clean. It was a nice feeling to take a shower but at the evening with the help of the hot weather my body started to smell after urine. That’s it. Quite normal if you take a shower in the water running through houses. : )
I woke up early in the morning and set off for Muscat. That urine smell joined with my sweat enlarging its impact area. Hahaha : ) Of course, before I arrived in the city I washed myself with a couple of bottles of water I bought at a gas station. Just at the entrance of the city Mr. Mehmet from our embassy welcomed me. They escorting me, we went to the arena to meet with Oman cycling team. There, our ambassador and head of Oman Cycling Federation were waiting for me. I still laugh as this comes in my mind. What if I didn’t take a second shower! Hahahaha : )
During my stay in Muscat our ambassador Mr. Ugur and the embassy employees lent assistance. Especially, Mehmet took me around as much as he had time after work. Also Kanber Abi (elderly brother in Turkish) helped me a lot.
I also attended the Victory Day, August 30th reception in Muscat. One day Mehmet said during a conversation: “Gurkan if you would like to meet Selim Suleyman Osmanoglu the member of Ottoman dynasty, he lives here.” in no time I replied: “Of course! If he is available I would like to have an appointment with him.”
When I had shared this on my Facebook page I couldn’t believe to the comments made. That day I once again became aware of this issue: 80% of my Facebook followers haven’t had read my articles on my webpage, especially young people.
One of the young people writing a comment was only three years old when AKP won the elections and put the government. He is now 16 years old and the same party is still ruling. Most probably his family and social circumference don’t support AKP. A Mustafa Kemal admirer. He doesn’t know anything about the period before Mustafa Kemal or doesn’t want to know. For him history of Turks and Turkey begins after 1923. Reading that I’ll meet with a member of Ottoman dynasty he wrote dirty crack on my page. Not only this youngster other not even knowing me aired their lungs one after one. I tried to answer every one as far as I could my best way keeping a civil tongue. What should I have done, swear or write “COME OVER BUSTARD WHOM YOU ARE TALKING THIS SHIT” Despite I wrote: “Please read the articles on my web page” But the response was: “I don’t have to read your page”. Well, he is right, he doesn’t have to read it. Without reading a book, a travel article anything you can achieve any position you want in Turkey. Why should these kids read a book, there are many examples? Who the hell is Gurkan Genc? He doesn’t have the time for googling. He has much important things to do. If I had told them “I’ll meet with Tonyukuk the vizier of Bilge Khan in Mongolia and ride on horse. Bilge Khan said: “Dear Gurkan what would be the situation of Turkey?” they would again air their lungs (Hahaha I swear I laughed loudly while writing this.)
Just tell me. What to do with them?
I met with Selim Suleyman Osmanoglu at Costa Café.
– Hi Selim. How are you?
– I’m fine Gurkan, and you?
We kissed each other and seated. The grandson of the most important family of Turkish history is sitting across me. During my world tour on bike I met with many ministers, presidents, emirates, sultans, princes. (Someone had written on my Facebook “so what”. Prick! I meet, sit, drink coffee, chat for hours, dine and become friends with such persons. Every person receives the same sincerity from me if he is worth for it!)
– Gurkan do you still have coffee, do you want a new cup of coffee?
– Thank you. I still have, get for yourself.
He went, lined and took a cup of coffee and came back. He was sitting across me. Blue eyes, blond hair. His mother is English. He speaks Turkish. He speaks a much better Turkish compared to the 5th generation Turks immigrated to Germany in 1950s! But he feels ashamed. “Just relax. We can continue in English”. You are abroad for years, had your education abroad, there aren’t any Turks around you, how come you would have the opportunity to speak Turkish? (Some commented below my post on Facebook “He might not know Turkish.” Don’t drive me crazy. Just get the hell out of my way) He has studied finance in London. He has a flat outside the city. He fell in love with Alev from Antalya while he was doing his PhD in Bogazici University. They married in Sultan Yalisi (waterside mansion). He has two children: Batu (5) and Esma (new born). He is working for the UK Finance Company AON in Oman as the correspondent of this region. He has a job, a flat in a building outside the city Oman and a modest car. He doesn’t have any properties in Turkey. When he goes to Turkey he stays at the house of Alev’s family. The insignia you can see on the photo in Wikipedia is an Ottoman dynasty insignia belonging to the Osmanogullari. (Someone had asked how he received that insignia.)
– Selim first of all I would like to thank you for accepting my appointment request…. It is very exciting for a Turkish man to meet with a member of Ottoman dynasty. Well, I suppose you guess that I have questions to you.
For the one who went to Mongolia on bike and visited the monument where the first word of Turk was mentioned, it is the point where the Turkish history starts and comes to the day I wrote this article. And I’m a part of this history.
– Gurkan I viewed your page and guess about what you’ll ask.
1) What do you think about Mustafa Kemal?
2) Is there a conversation between Sultan Vahdettin and Mustafa Kemal about the future of the country which is known to Ottoman dynasty but not to Turkish citizens? I don’t want to know the context of this conversation. Just yes or no.
3) We are both at the same age. How realistic do you find the honesty and sincerity of Turkish governments to the Ottoman history? What do you feel when politicians use the words Ottomans, our Ottoman ancestors while holding their speech to people?
4) What do you think about the groups calling themselves as grandsons of Ottomans?
5) What do you think about Turkish economy as a finance expert?
6) You have traveled in Syria and Lebanon and as far as I understand you have a deep knowledge about this region. What would you say about the present situation in this region?
7) How do you see Tukey’s future? How close is our country to the modern world as you also mentioned Mustafa Kemal turned its face to?
8) What do you feel when you come to Turkey?
9) How did you meet Alev? How is your marriage?
While having this conversation a Turkish family seated at a table next to us. How I wished to tell them the man across me was a member of Ottoman dynasty and to observe their response. But Selim’s eyes moved to tears while answering my questions. I couldn’t do. It was not the questions solely. We had a very pleasant conversation.
My love to Turkey and the modern vision I’m following is not open to discussion. The one who know me know this! The ones who don’t know just learn. My travel over the years changed my thoughts and my point of view towards the world and keeps changing. Not only for my country but also for the people of other countries I introduce their countries, visit schools and share my experiences and my point of view towards life with young people. I say that we have only one chance which we have to evaluate well and try to share their dreams. I have some experiences on judging of people’s character. That man is the grandson of a sultan of a collapsed empire. Selim Suleyman Osmanoglu is an intelligent man who wouldn’t say Ottoman Empire, Ottoman spirit, etc. after this time. He won’t use his name. If so on his own means he’ll do. Maybe he does and we don’t know. Just as I try to serve to Turkish people, I saw with my own eyes that he is like me. His answers to my questions were frankly and honestly. My thoughts at that moment were mixing with my road memories and experiences and were turning into new points of views.
Well, I was asked where the answers to these questions were. Of course, people are curious about them. I’ll talk about this nice conversation to the people who will host me in their houses when I turn back to Turkey. Selim and Alev I guess you have had read this article. One day we’ll meet again Selim..
I had the opportunity to meet with the employees of the company STF in Muskat. The official of the company Ziya Abi hosted me in his house. We chatted with his wife Zehra and children. I was informed about the works of the company from the port construction in Oman to the road construction and many others. Ziya Abi and his family also invited me for dinner.
The first week after I arrived in Muscat I wanted to buy a flight ticket to Ethiopia. Ziya Abi said: “We’ll support you in this issue”. And they did. Later I was invited for dinner at our military attaché Mr. Bora’s house. One of the guests was the Muscat agent of Turkish Airlines. He couldn’t believe as I told him what I had experienced with Turkish Airlines. The top managers couldn’t help me but this agent: “Gurkan it doesn’t matter which destination you choose. Just call me if you need a flight ticket. I’ll do my best.” Because of him I didn’t pay any extra luggage fee. That is, it is really sad while top managers don’t give such a support but an agent is able to…
Asli James tries to contact me in Muscat. She was working as dentist in Muscat. Well, if I had known her before I would go for a checkup. After my dental surgery I didn’t go for a dental checkup. Let’s see how long my teeth will hold. Hehe. She and her husband invited me for a dinner one night. We talked a lot. They told me that they have also been on bicycle tours. Wow! Why didn’t you tell me before? They had been toured in Italy and Czech Republic. Asli tells:
Gurkan Stuart’s life is all about bicycle. Once he insisted on me to take part in one his tours and I did. My gosh! The endless slopes. There were times when I cried sitting on the ground. There were moments when I sad enough, no more. It was hard but honestly very pleasant to ride on level roads.
This came familiar to me. To the very beginning of my tour, to Bulgaria. My dear Ayca! She also had enough. But now she steps in tri-athletics. : ).. Stuart and Asli were traveling on folding bicycles. It is much easier to pack up and travel with plane. But with folding bicycles paved road should be chosen and also water carriage capacity is much lower. They shared their road memories with me.
My Oman travel is for the time being over. I’m returning to Africa but this time to sub-Saharan countries. Kanber Abi an employee of the Turkish embassy took me to the airport. He took care of me, thanks a lot. He also found an official of Turkish Airlines to help me that I don’t pay any extra fees for my bicycle during my flight with Ethiopian Airlines.