The Taiwanese tourist (Mrs Lee they call her a the bus station) and I compare notes on Syria as we ride towards Ankara. The landscape becomes noticeably more lush and promising as we head into Turkey with firs and birches covering the hills.
I ask her impressions of Syria and she talks about the young girls who move like ‘ladies’ – so controlled and never coughing or laughing. We agree it is very, very safe. There is little or no street crime and I never once felt threatened or worried – not even late at night at the run down, out of town bus station.
Mrs Lee is in her fifties, a restaurant manager back home, who’s quit her job to travel for twelve months; Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, India and China. She’s only doing Asia she says – and I realise she’s covering the Silk Road from the other perspective.