Heading into Turkey again the landscape becomes noticeably more lush, hills covered in fir trees and birches.
I think back to the journey out of Syria. There were five passengers; two in the front squeezed in with the driver a Taiwanese woman and I and a young guy in the back.
The car twists and turns through the dusty villages past clusters of low houses and out of town second homes built by wealthy Damascenes. The young guy leans into me as we wind through the dark. After a while I feel my leg being stroked very subtly. I can’t quite believe it’s happening so I lift up my bag from my lap and look down to check as a hand is pulled back and folded away.
I can barely keep from laughing but at the same time hope my facial contortions won’t be mistaken for approval or an invitation.
Our passports are checked five times at the border. Our papers are looked at one final time on the Syrian side by a lone soldier with a torch and then automatic metal gates slide open and we’re into the Turkish section.