Wednesday/Thursday, 16/17 January

Before leaving Gazientep on the commuter bus to began my final day of walking back into Gazientep, I met Mustafa and some of his colleagues at a bakery for a breakfast of katmer. Katmer is a favorite breakfast food in Gaziantep. I had never eaten it so I entered the bakery with curiosity running high.

Mustafa called out to the man behind the counter that he wanted a couple servings of katmer and tea for everyone at the table. The katmer arrived in moments. Starved, I swallowed down my first serving in a few bites astonished at the sugary sweetness. Katmer is a pastry piled high with thin layers of phylo dough. Each layer is sprinkled with powdered pistachios and white sugar, slathered in sweet cream, and then the process is repeated on the layers after that.

In other words, if you want to start the day with a sugar buzz, eating a couple servings of katmer is the way to do it.

Since I was the guest and it was my first time eating katmer, Mustafa and his colleagues insisted that I eat a lot of it. Two servings was not enough, so Mustafa turned to the waiter and waved at him to bring us more. I wondered, do they really want me to eat a lot of katmer, or are they just using me as an excuse to eat katmer themselves, or both?

Four servings of katmer later, our little group broke up as abruptly as it had formed. Mustafa and his friends scrambled off to work, and I, hands shaking and head buzzing from all the sugar, stumbled out to the main highway to begin my final stretch back east into Gazientep. I boarded a bus and headed back to the place I had left off the day before.

The day’s walk was pleasant, most of it a very gradual downhill slope on a curvy road for 30 kilometers. Hills all around me. The bright sun reflecting off patches of snow still on the ground. And lots of rocks. Rocks, rocks, everywhere.

I came upon a small plastic water bottle filled with a yellow liquid. I had seen hundreds of these on my walk. For months I had been wondering why people, all across the country, on long inter-city drives, were filling water bottles with apple juice and then throwing them out onto the shoulder.

This time, being much closer to one of those bottles, I paid more attention, peering at the bottle and finally realizing, “Oh, hey, I’ll bet that’s not apple juice!”

I don’t know why it took me 4-1/2 months to figure out.

Later i the day as I walked into Gaziantep, 61% of the way across Turkey, I met up with the Silk Road camel caravan statues carrying loads of spices west out of Gaziantep. I snapped a photo of the caravan. I remembered that my mom was having knee replacement surgery the next day, and I thought it might inspire her to get up and walk on that new knee if she saw the photo! If people could walk from China, I could walk across Turkey, and my mom could walk on her new knee.

Saturday/Sunday, 12, 13, January

I spent most of my three days at the Osmaniye Ogretmen evi catching up on administrative stuff, doing laundry and taking care of personal needs, and visiting with friends.

One of the first things I did during my long weekend off was to get some new shoes. It’s not easy to find my size here in Turkey, but I walked into a store in Osmaniye and lo and behold, they had not just a few shoes in my size 12 ½, but a bunch of them, and at great prices! I usually had to buy my shoes from a website called giantman.com.

I took an evening and went to dinner with İlgi, Dilara, and Mutlu. What I love about the typical Turkish dinner table is that before the main course even arrives, the table is filled with food, and that evening the array included two salads of lettuce, carrots, and tomatoes; bread; a mound of yogurt made from buffalo milk with walnuts and honey on top; a plate of greens; a plate of four toppings—hummus, yogurt, a carrot salad, and an “American salad” (something I’m not a big fan of because of its high mayonnaise content); a plate of chopped onions with parsley and balsamic vinegar; and some plates of things I could not identify.

For the main course we had two different kinds of kebap: Adana kebap and beyti kebap. It was another food orgy.

Then after dinner we watched a football (soccer) game on TV, Mutlu and I bonding over the fact we were both Fenerbahçe fans. Well, anyway, Mutlu was a Fenerbahce fan. I couldn’t care less, but had fun bonding.

Monday, 14 January

The next day I packed up my stuff, checked out of the Ogretmen evi, and grabbed a bus to Gaziantep to meet my new couch surfing host, Mustafa, a tax inspector for Gaziantep province.

I found his office and waited next to his desk for about an hour while he finished up some work. When it was time to go we walked out to the parking lot. Mustafa picked up my backpack and grimaced at its weight, commenting on how much I was carrying. He tried to shove it into the trunk of his car but it was a tight fit. Eventually, together we got it crammed into the trunk. Then we loaded into the car and took off towards his home.

Mustafa and his wife lived on the outskirts of town. My room was not in his apartment but was in a nearby apartment occasionally occupied by his in-laws who were out of town. He told me he didn’t want to have any sign that anyone had stayed there. So I was a surreptitious guest in this very nice apartment with a big kitchen and a couple of big bathrooms with a couple of big showers but I could leave no trace that I had been in the apartment—no water rings in the kitchen or anything.

Still, Mustafa was a very gracious host. After he made sure I got settled in okay, he went across the street to his home to greet his his two young sons. Then he came back to find me and we went out for döner and rice at a nearby restaurant.

Before bed I looked at the map to see where in Gaziantep I was, and how I would get out to the highway the next morning to continue my walk. I discovered that the road I needed to walk on the next day was at the northern edge of the city and Mustafa’s place was on the southern edge, so I would have to commute about an hour on public transportation to get to the beginning of my walk.

Tuesday, 15 January

I got up about 5:30 a.m. so I could commute and then begin my walk by 8. Mustafa came by to say hello before I hopped a minibus for my commute back to work.

Shortly after boarding the bus to the northern edge of the city, a truck driver from Syria tried to board. He was heading back to the border and had only Syrian currency with him. The driver would not accept it, and he told the Syrian guy to get off the bus and find a currency exchange. I called out to the Syrian guy to get back on the bus, I would cover his fare. People do me favors on the road all the time. I was happy for the opportunity to help out a fellow traveler. It was the least I could do.

I got off the minibus where I had finished walking before the weekend, and started walking back towards Gaziantep. Within a few minutes my cell phone rang. A journalist from Sabah, one of the national papers in Turkey, was on the line. He was doing some fact checking for an article he was writing about me. I was happy to help him check his facts, so I stood by the side of the road and answered his questions, speaking loudly into the phone so he could hear me over the din of truck traffic.

But my main job for the day was not to pay Syrians’ bus fares or talk to journalists. It was to get a particular climb out of the way, from a valley floor to a village called Atalar a couple thousand feet above.

Midway through the climb, I stopped for a late-morning breather. I perched on a highway turnout bench and took in the scenery. This was a beautiful climb, offering a panoramic view of the fertile green valley below, sprinkled with tiny villages and farmhouses. I squinted and could make out the ribbon of road leading back to where I had begun the walk that day.

At my elevation there were still traces of snow along the sides of the road, and rocks, so many rocks. Rocks everywhere. This was the rockiest place I’d ever seen. The mountains were covered with baseball-sized rocks. Rocks had been piled along the sides of the road to get them out of the way, and they lined the green fields where it looked like attempts were being made to farm inside walls made of the rocks. I wondered how the farmers got any farming done with all the rocks around.

After resting for about 15 minutes, I stood up from the bench and walked back out to the road to continue my day’s work. I thanked god, and knocked on wood, that I could walk for hours and not stop. I realized that many people are not able to walk that much.

By mid-afternoon I reached Atalar. The hill had been climbed, my kilometers for the day had been walked, and I was ready to go home. I flagged down a passing bus and rode it back to Gaziantep. Mustafa had a delicious dinner of köfte and pilav waiting for me. After dinner we had tea while I uploaded photos onto the web and he studied for a tax law exam. I smiled at the “odd couple” image: a tax accountant cooking dinner for a cross-country walker, in an apartment the walker wasn’t supposed to be in, the two of them quietly drinking tea while one played with his computer and the other read a thick book on tax law.

Friday, 11 January

The next morning I crept out of my frost-covered sleeping bag and with stiff, blue hands slowly began to break camp. I shook an icy crust off my tent, and the tent’s fabric crunched as I stuffed it into my pack. I was having a hard time finding a source of inner strength to get started that morning, to shoulder my backpack, to place one foot in front of the other and get to work. Finding that inner source usually took only a few minutes, and by the time I had broken camp I’d felt it.

But this morning, camp was broken, and I still wasn’t in touch with that strength. I stood there in the brambles, my hands on my knees. I dug around for an image or a thought, anything, that would get me up onto that road walking.

I thought about my friend Aly in Istanbul. She had been a staunch supporter of the walk since before Day One, and in fact had written an article about it for Outsider magazine. She had talked me through many a low moment on the walk. I could hear her voice now telling me, “Matt, man, you’ve got to do this!” Then the strength came. When I climbed up onto the road and realized I had the strength to continue, I took the white board out of my pack and dedicated the day to her.

Then I brushed the dirt and brambles off my pants, and started walking.

The spectacular views as I descended the mountains into Gaziantep province soon distracted me from my doldrums. I was awed as I looked down on the sweep of the lush green plain below me, with its covering of farms and villages. The busier toll road had disappeared somewhere into the hills, so the air was quiet now and I could hear nothing but my footsteps.

Around mid-morning I approached the day’s main town, Nurdağı. As I neared the town, I spotted the cold, square government buildings of the Jandarma post at the edge of the city. As I walked past the post’s front gate I waved hello and nodded to the guard. I was just being polite and friendly—I wasn’t planning on stopping.

As I walked past the gate, the guard followed a quick “good morning” with more small talk. “Where are you headed?” “It’s awfully cold out!” “How heavy is that pack?” With each comment I would pause, turn around halfway, and answer before continuing. His curiosity, and his questions, continued and warranted more attention than a quick “good morning.” So I stopped, turned, and started walking back towards him. He got really nervous. A look of panicked uncertainty crossed his face, and he waved his gun and called out to me, “No, no, continue, continue!”

Other soldiers, hearing the commotion, started to appear at the gate. They were curious, calling out questions over the driveway that separated me from them. “Hello, good morning, where are you from? Where do you sleep at night? Do you like Turkey?” I wasn’t sure whether to approach and talk to them, or heed the advice of the first guard to keep moving. I thought of news footage showing Iraqi civilian drivers with their brains splattered over the back seat after getting shot in the head by nervous US soldiers at security checkpoints. I decided to keep moving. Better to seem rude than to get my brains splattered all over the road.

A few minutes later I came upon the local police station. I decided to stop by and see what kind of reception I’d get there.

I walked up to the guard booth at the front gate and said hello to the two policemen inside.

“Good morning,” the first policeman said to me, a huge grin crossing his face as he looked up from his paperwork. “It’s a little cold out, huh?”

“Yeah, it’s a little cold, but it’s warming up. The sun’s out.” I looked at the second policeman and said, “Hello.”

He responded with a curt, “Hello.” As cold as ice.

“What’s your name?” I asked.

“My name is hello.”

The first policeman said, “His name is actually Ali. Ha! Ha!”

The first policeman invited me in for tea. The second policeman quickly put a stop to it:

“No,” he said, waving his hand dismissively, “keep moving!”

I think it was the first time ever in Turkey that someone had said to me that no, I couldn’t drink their tea. I sensed this was an interpersonal conflict and didn’t want to get involved. I had avoided getting my head blown off a few minutes ago, and I didn’t want to get arrested. So I said goodbye and kept walking further into the village.

I figured I would just keep walking and blow right through Nurdağı. Zero for two in this town, I thought. Just keep going. You don’t need them anyway. But then I saw yet another set of government-looking buildings and the naughty part of my personality came out, the part that loves being a bull in a china shop. I stopped. No, I’m not done with this town yet,

I walked up to the buildings and picked the nearest one, which turned out to be the local Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Government Administration office. I walked through the front door. There was no reception area, so I stuck my head into the doorway of one of the offices and called out, “Hello! How’s it going? What’s up?”

Before I could even focus my eyes on the room, someone grabbed my hand and pulled me in. He told me to put my bag down, sit, rest.

While I sat resting on one of the chairs saying hello to the four or five men in the room, someone thrust a cup of tea in my hand. Within minutes the office was full of curious workers wanting to find out who this foreigner was who had just walked in wearing that enormous backpack. I was the center of attention, and word was quickly spreading through the building that a visitor had arrived.

The conversation quickly turned to a debate about where they should put me up for the night.

“How about the office?” one man asked no one in particular.

“No, it’s unsatisfactory,” said a second man.

“How about the town hall?” volunteered one man who had just stuck his head in the door.

The chatter continued. How about this? How about that?

I stopped them. It was barely 9:30 in the morning. It was too early for me to quit for the day.

“Thanks, but no,” I said to the group, interrupting the debate. “I need to keep moving.”

“Have you eaten?” someone asked.

“Take him to the cafeteria!” someone else suggested.

“It’s closed!” said another.

“Order him some take-out!”

Three men lunged for the phone. It’s nice to be so warmly welcomed, I thought, but you don’t get many visitors here, do you?

Within minutes I was eating a chicken wrap and drinking ayran.

Then we stepped outside for some photos, came back in, and friended each other on Facebook. At that point I felt it was time to go, so I said my goodbyes. I could see they were disappointed to see me leave, as it meant going back to their paper-pushing and number-crunching.

The town was small, so within a few minutes I was clear of it and back out on the open road. I smiled to myself and thought,

This was what I loved about this walk. Sometimes I walk up to a Jandarma base and I’m told to move on. Sometimes I walk up to a Jandarma base and I’m ushered in and fed more food than I’d ever seen. Sometimes I check in at a police station and I’m told to keep moving without being offered a sip of water or tea. Sometimes I check in at a police station and spend the next two hours watching TV and eating dinner with the cops. Sometimes I walk into offices where I am stared at like a space alien, and sometimes I walk into offices where I am met with an overwhelming explosion of hospitality as if I were a gift from God. What happens in one situation never provides any indication of what will happen in the next.

At the end of the day, I stopped to wait for the bus back to Osmaniye out in the middle of what I thought was nowhere. Up pulled a car. The driver was none other than the son of the man who fed breakfast to Joy Anna and me at the gasoline station the day before. He gave me a huge bag of peanuts, waited with me by the side of the road until my bus came, and then insisted on paying my fare. I hopped in the bus and headed back to Osmaniye and the Oğretmen Evi for my days off and planned to visit with my new friends, Ilgi, Dilara, and Mutlu there.

Thursday, 10 January

The next morning, after staying out with my new friends relatively late the night before, I got up early, shouldered my backpack, and said goodbye to Osmaniye. It was time to move on. I was to meet Joy Anna on the road for that day’s walk. She had joined me for my very first day four months ago. Now, here I was, more than halfway across the country, and she was joining me again. I was happy to be seeing her. It was a reminder that I was making progress across the country, and I suspected that if we knew each other better, she would recognize that I was a different person from the one who started the walk.

That day we would begin our walk by climbing out of the Çukurova plain into the Nurdağları mountain range (Mountains of Heavenly Radiance). We would end the day half way between Osmaniye and Gaziantep. Like we did on that first day, Joyanna would flag a bus back to the city, while I stayed behind and set up my tent for the night.

The air was cold, but the sky was clear and sunny. It had snowed a bit the night before, just enough to leave a light dusting in the shaded areas. I put my sweater on under my coat and donned my wool hat and gloves. I had foolishly left my scarf in Osmaniye in an attempt to lighten my pack, not thinking about needing it as I headed into higher elevations. I dug some clean long johns out of my pack and tied them around my neck instead.

Joy Anna and I began the day’s walk with a climb. I labored under the weight of my pack, cursing myself for not having lightened it more before I left Osmaniye. I tried to breathe normally enough to not interrupt the conversation with Joyanna. Joyanna pulled out her camera mid-conversation, crossed the road, and took a photo of me climbing the hill. She ran back across the road smiling and held up her camera to show the photo to me. In the photo a tall, fit, angular man was confidently carrying a large pack up a steep hill. The man in the photo did not look like he was breathing hard and trying not to fall over.

Gradually the terrain smoothed into a plain where we walked for most of the rest of the day.

After we had been on the road for a couple of hours, Joyanna and I stopped for breakfast at the Öz-Al Petrol station and restaurant. The station had been recommended to me by Mustafa, an on-line follower from Gaziantep whom I would be staying with, but hadn’t yet met. Mustafa had commented on Facebook that we should stop by and say hello to his uncle and cousin at that particular station. His uncle owned the station, Mustafa told me. I marvelled at how many people’s uncles owned gas stations.

Mustafa’s uncle treated us to a delicious breakfast. The sucuklu yumurta (sausage cooked with eggs) was some of the best I’d ever tasted. I noticed Joyanna seemed mildly uncomfortable at the station, for reasons I didn’t understand, so I ate quickly and politely declined Mustafa’s uncle’s offer of tea. I grunted as I pulled my pack back on, muttering to myself that this Couchsurfing was fun, I was meeting some great people, but it was making me soft and weak.

A couple kilometers down the road, Joyanna and I came upon a brand new bridge to and from nowhere; it was simply sitting on the dirt at the side of the road, parallel to the main bridge. Joyanna and I looked at each other puzzled. Why was this extra bridge here?

“Oh well,” I shrugged, “it never hurts to have an extra bridge.”

“That’s right, you never know when you’ll need it,” Joyanna responded.

We walked on.

I was enjoying having a friend to walk with during the day. For a couple of weeks I’d been very comfortable—sleeping in people’s houses, having dinner with friends, shopping for pepper spray. Tonight when Joy Anna got on the bus I would be alone again. My mood began to sink.

I thought of a Doors lyric:

People are strange, when you’re a stranger.
Faces look ugly, when you’re alone.

Snow crunched under my foot as if I needed reminding that the weather was freezing and the terrain inhospitable.

The hills began to pinch themselves into a narrow canyon. The climb steepened. Two highways squeezed through the narrow pass: the intercity freeway, and the local road I was on. Usually the two were at least a few kilometers apart.

I knew we would not clear the pass before the day ended, and that I would need to bed down for the night soon. I turned to Joyanna and told her I needed to look for a place to stay that night. I scanned the surroundings, and noted that the presence of two highways was going to limit my options since I wanted to find a spot away from the prying eyes of passing drivers. I looked at the few gullies nestled into the rocky slopes. They were covered with thorny raspberry bushes. There would be no soft beds of pine needles that night.

I spotted a small area that was out of the direct line of sight of passing drivers on both highways, and was almost large enough to accommodate my tent.

I pointed to the area and said to Joyanna, “There you go, I’m going to camp there tonight.”

Joyanna looked at the site and then back at me. “Are you sure?”

“Yeah, I think I’ll be able to make it work just fine.”

“Okay,” she said. We said our goodbyes and waited by the side of the road a few minutes to flag down a bus. One slowed down for Joyanna, she hopped on board, and I scrambled down the slope and began gingerly tamping down prickly berry vines to make a place large enough for my tent.

Wednesday, 9 January

The next day was a work day. I was getting used to my new routine: get up early, take the bus to work, walk for 6 hours, take the bus home.

In the evening, after I had rested up from my walk during the day, I met with Ilgi again. With her, was her colleague Dilara, and Dilara’s husband Mutlu. The three of them decided they needed to test my şalgam-drinking skills. They laughed sinisterly amongst themselves, knowing what I was in for. Me, of course, I had no idea.

Popular in southern Turkey, şalgam (pronounced shawl-gum) is a non-alcoholic drink made of salted and spiced red carrot pickles, flavored with fermented turnip. I had heard about it many times (“It’s an acquired taste”), but I had never tried it. Tonight would be the night.

Ilgi, Dilara, and Mutlu quickly found a small deli that served şalgam. They ordered two glasses, one for me and one for Mutlu. I smelled mine. It smelled awful. I scrunched up my nose and took a sip. It tasted even worse. Mutlu gulped his down and wiped his lips. He looked at me with a big smile and asked what I thought.

“I hear it’s an acquired taste,” I said.

While I was nursing my şalgam, my new friends asked me if I carried a gun to protect myself while I was walking.

“Absolutely not!” I said. “There’s no way I would carry a gun. Finding food and a place to sleep depends on my getting people to trust me very quickly. If I carry a gun that isn’t going to happen.”

The three were shocked. Dilara said, “Okay, but at least we’ve got to stop and get you some pepper spray.”

Ilgi motioned at me to finish my şalgam quickly so we could go. I gulped it down, being careful to keep it off my tongue as much as possible, so it would be gone before I had a chance to taste it. I slammed the empty glass down on the table.

“You like şalgam, huh?” Ilgi asked.

I smiled and said, “It’s an acquired taste.”

As for the pepper spray, I didn’t want to carry pepper spray. I figured that if I were attacked, I would probably accidentally spray it backward into my own face. But at least they weren’t making me buy a gun, and if I had it in me to accept the “drink şalgam” challenge, I could certainly get out of buying pepper spray. Plus they seemed to be having such a great time teasing the foreigner. I didn’t want to spoil the fun. So I followed them down the road on the search for pepper spray.

Ilgi, Dilara, and Mutlu excitedly agreed that I looked exactly like Süleyman, a friend of Mutlu’s who ran a gold jewelry shop, so during the search for pepper spray we stopped by the shop so they could compare us side by side. The three of them laughed and agreed again that Süleyman and I looked exactly alike. Süleyman and I looked at each other. I saw no resemblance whatsoever. Süleyman obviously didn’t either.

“Do you know where we could get some pepper spray?” Dilara asked Süleyman.

“Try the army surplus store around the corner.”

The army surplus store did indeed sell pepper spray, but I declined to buy it, telling the three that I needed to walk without carrying guns or pepper spray.

Ilgi, Dilara,and Mutlu seemed to realize by then that I was a lost cause and that there was no way to weaponize me.

Monday/Tuesday, 7/8 January

After a month of Couchsurfing, I started to settle into a routine: Walk three days into a city, take a day off, walk three days out of the city, move on to the next city, and then repeat the pattern. “Turn off your brain and just keep repeating the pattern until it’s done,” I told myself.

One of the friends I made in Osmaniye, İlgi Çelik, taught at a middle school in Tüysüz (translates to “hairless”), a small village just outside Osmaniye. She knew I had a day off coming up, and invited me to come visit her students.

I got up early, walked to the main road, and hopped on the the service bus İlgi and the other teachers rode to the school. The kids all seemed to arrive at school at once, and while the teachers held their morning meeting in the schoolmaster’s office, the kids waited and played unattended outside in the hallway. I didn’t know humans were capable of creating as much noise as those kids did! I looked around at the other teachers in the room, expecting one of the teachers to open the door and shush the kids, but none of them seemed in the least bit bothered. I was already feeling out of place. There I was, a middle-aged man who walked alone on country roads with only the whooshing of cars, the roaring of semis, and the chirping of birds for my white noise. I will never last a day in this place, I thought. Those kids will eat me alive.

The teachers’ meeting over, llgi took me to her classroom. Mid-sentence in her introduction of me the students began cheering wildly. They exploded with energy, pulling one of the kids down on the floor and piling on top him in a wriggling, screaming mosh pit. I laughed to myself and realized I wasn’t going to need to entertain them, they were perfectly able to do that for themselves. All they needed was a thin excuse, and I was that day’s thin excuse.

When they finally settled down I told them some stories about my walk and invited questions. Ilgi asked them to ask their questions in English for language practice, but they were too shy, so they asked their questions in Turkish and I answered in Turkish. When I needed to speak English, İlgi translated my words into Turkish.

There were three boys named Yusuf in the class, and during a break from the Q&A they came to me and asked me to take a photo of them standing together. The largest Yusuf was a gentle giant who almost never spoke, and the smallest Yusuf, probably half the largest Yusuf’s weight, had the biggest personality in class, never shy about anything including asking countless questions in English and coming out from behind his desk to stand at the front of the room when he did it.

After a couple of times having to walk from his desk to the front, he planted himself right in front of me asking his barrage of questions, one after another. Some of these questions I knew were asked only to control the platform from which he worked the room. Any platform would do. I knew the type. We were kindred spirits in that regard! As much as I wanted to think these kids would remember me because I had a story to tell, I knew they would probably remember Yusuf’s performance more. I was just Yusuf’s prop.

At lunchtime Ilgi steered me into the teachers’ lounge where I met and chatted with the other teachers and staff members. Then when I’d finished my cup of tea a staff member from the kitchen, Meryem Abla (meaning big sister), read the tea leaves for me.

Back in class after lunch, I didn’t realize how tired I was until I took a turn at the blackboard to solve a simple fractions addition problem. I had no brain power left. At Tarsus American School I was thinking it would be fun to be a teacher and it was too bad I hadn’t become one. Now, even though I’d really enjoyed interacting with the kids, I thought, “It’s a good thing I’m not a teacher!” I was more tired than I was after most days walking.

On Tuesday evening, my next day off, I visited a local radio station with Alperşan, one of the university students I was Couchsurfing with in Osmaniye. Alperşan was a DJ with a night show on a local radio station. He asked me if I would come along and record some jingles for his show. Ever the ham, I said, “Of course!”.

So I sat with a microphone near Alperşan while he did his show, which was called “On the Air With Alperşan.” All I had to do was drawl in the deepest of voices several times on cue, “On the air with Alperşan.”

While we were getting the studio equipment ready for the recordings, one of the other DJs launched into a graphic story about a woman he had been “with.”

Later we realized one of the microphones had been left on.

Oops.