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Toot Toot, Beep Beep!

While I wasn’t on fire, a modern take on stop, drop and roll seemed appropriate.

Loni James
Loni James
6 min read
Toot Toot, Beep Beep!
Sunset views from the Kordon in Izmir. 

A Date in Every Country: A Series
Date #8 Part 2
Location: Izmir, Turkey
Nationality: Turkish
Activity: walking…lots of walking.
Time: 4+ hours
Will see again? Hopefully
Connected via: Tinder

After our lovely first date, I was looking forward to seeing Date #8 again. He was excited to show me a few different sites in his town. I actually was able to see him twice in one day due to his work schedule. In the morning we headed to see the beautiful old clocktower. It was before his shift so the streets were quiet and I was tempted to run through the crowd of pigeons like a child. We only had a little bit of time before his shift so we decided to meet up again later that night. He got off work late and I walked along the Kordon to meet him. He was all cute wanting to hold hands and stroll along the water. He had a destination in mind but wouldn’t tell me which one it was. We walked…and walked...and WALKED. When I teased him that we were walking to the next town he said, “You have 2 feet, you said you like walking!” Touché. He was pretty proud of himself for that one lol. Please note - We walked 3 miles! I checked it to make sure. I do like walking I just wasn’t anticipating THAT far on our date! I teased him that we were going to need a different form of transportation to get back. Oh and reminded him that beer was necessary once we arrived at wherever we were going.

It’s after midnight and I finally see it! The old elevator of Izmir. It’s a beautiful old building set up against the hillside to help people get from the upper neighborhoods down to sea level. We headed to the top and were able to enjoy a stunning view of the city. It was after midnight at this point and the city lights were gorgeous as they lined the seaside. A few stolen kisses and we headed back down to the lower street level. The next block over had a few quiet bars so we snagged a table, snuggling up on one side. We ordered our triumphant and well deserved beers and chatted a bit. He asks about my other dates and while curious I can tell he also doesn’t want to know. He asked to read what I’ve written but I’m not sure that is the best idea. He has already confessed how he doesn’t normally walk around the city holding hands with a girl. I’m very conscious that I need to tread carefully so I don’t hurt this sweet man.

It's Scooter Time!

It’s almost 1 in the morning when we start to head back and I’m for sure not walking 3 miles at this hour of the night. We debated taking the tram but I’m more curious about the scooters I keep seeing. He quickly downloaded the app and we debated whether to try one or two. Now I’ve been warned about these things but have never ridden one and neither has he. Well we gambled big - one scooter, 2 humans. It was hilarious! He’s tall so I couldn’t see where we are going and I’m just wrapping my arms around his midsection hoping we don't crash. Our first attempt at braking has me screeching and trying not to tip over. I can only fit one foot on it so my other foot is just barely hanging on by a toe. We are cruising along and I cannot stop laughing. Every little bump results in a squawk or squeal on my part as I'm flying blind. He tries to squat down a bit so I can just barely see over his shoulder. We hit a few holes but no casualties so far. Thank goodness it was late so there were few people out on the path. There is a wide paved path for scooters and bikes with a larger one for next to it for walkers/runners. Sometimes people don't pay attention though and as I feared, we came upon this group of girls walking right in the middle of the path. We are cruising along at a decent clip and they definitely don't see us coming. Unfortunately, we don't have a bell or something to alert them. I panic, needing to get them to move but I’m not sure what to say. What's Turkish for heads up!?


Yup. That’s what I shouted as we came barreling towards them. I doubt they could even see me hiding behind him so they must have heard this crazy American female voice coming from this handsome Turk who was flying towards them on a scooter at 1:30 in the morning. WELL IT WORKED. They turned, jumped out of the way then promptly burst out laughing. Rightfully so. I’d like to think it was because we were adorable as we flew past them. I couldn’t stop laughing. I’m balancing on one foot. He’s in a weird squat position and my other foot is asleep. I just shouted in his ear, probably making the poor guy deaf. But hey! Nobody died.

We made good time and I shouted in his ear again as we attempted to plan our delicate dismount. If the brakes proved too aggressive my plan was to step/fling my body onto the grass and hope for the best. While I wasn’t on fire, a modern take on stop, drop and roll seemed appropriate. My right foot had been dangling for 3 miles and my other foot is going numb so I was not optimistic that I wouldn’t tumble to the ground the moment I tried to get off this contraption. He managed to slow us down a bit and I flailed to the right awaiting impact. I do this funny little hop dance thing but managed to not eat shit. I’m as graceful as a newborn horse that doesn’t know how to walk. But hey! Nobody died.

Traditional Turkish Breakfast

I’m leaving the next day but we managed to grab a leisurely breakfast by the sea. Turkish breakfasts are quite a spread with everything from fruit to olives, breads with about 4 different jams, pastries, eggs and meats. Oh and cheese. Don’t get me started on the cheese. On top of that there’s tea and coffee. As I’m exclaiming over the massive breakfast feast, I find myself trying to explain mimosas to him. He has NEVER HEARD OF THEM!I Apparently they are not a thing here?! I asked another person about it and they had never heard of them either. Are mimosas just an American drink!? Do I now have a mission to introduce all of my future dates to the wonder that is bottomless brunch?! Now I may not be an every weekend brunch kind of girl but I do have a deep appreciation for the delicious combo that is champagne + juice. I’m going to start asking this of every date to gage how much of the world is familiar with this morning cocktail.

I shall call it MISSION MIMOSA.

He wished aloud that I was there any other week when he’d be able to take time off to show me around. Sadly our timing was not ideal. He was sweet enough to help me make arrangements to head to Cesme for a few days with hopes of us connecting before I head to Cappadocia. Unfortunately these hopeful plans were not meant to be and we were not able to see each other again. When texting goodbye this was our exchange. Be still my heart.

Me: “Dont forget me ok?”

Him: “Never. It’s like a star came from sky. I touched it and then gone.”


Turkish men love romance. That’s for sure. I still text him every time I see a couple on a scooter as I can’t help but smile. Who knows if our paths will cross again.

TEASER: Istanbul is next and I went from wedding crashing to ghosting all in one week.

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Loni James

As I collect and record these stories, I hope they make you laugh, curse and dream of far off places. May they inspire you to cross oceans and meet plenty of interesting people along the way.