Adam. He allegedly sailed from the port of Eilat on a ship sailing to Africa.
And suddenly he disappeared …
We and Ariel, his friend, were very upset about this.
We called him many times on Whatsapp.
A rough male voice answered.
“Good afternoon! Please, call Adam!”, we asked.
“Snip-snip”, spoke a voice in the phone and from there came sounds as if a knife was sharpening. “Snip-snip”
“Where is Adam? Please, call him”, we asked again, and in response we heard that the knife began to sharpen even more intensively than before. “Snip-snip”, “Snip-snip”
We were very worried about him, but one day there was a call from an unknown number from the Republic of Chad in Central Africa. And we shuddered with joy when we heard Adam’s voice filled with adrenaline on the phone.
“Hello! Guys, don’t worry, I’m fine, I’m alive and well, I’m in the desert, it’s very beautiful here, I ride across the Sahara in a car with Bedouins.
I boarded a ship sailing to Kenya, to Mombasa in the port of Eilat. I was in a hurry to leave and did not inquire about it. But I should have!
As we sailed away, I was surprised to find that all the sailors on the ship were very large, just huge men from Africa, ranging from 7 to 8 feet tall and weighing over 400 pounds.
The ship was extremely hot, stuffy, and there were absolutely no normal conditions. But these amazing Africans did not even sweat in the sun and each of them drank 40 cans of beer at a time and ate some incredible amount of food, namely cans of stew. They just amazed me, I have never seen such huge people before!
And I got scared when I accidentally saw that they were carrying contraband goods, and a lot of other strange things happened on the ship.
In addition, these giants began to show too much interest in me and I realized that this trip might not end well. And I decided to run.
One day, when the ship was cruising not far from the coast, with the approach of darkness, I made an attempt to bribe the sentry.
He, on reflection, agreed, but asked for a considerable amount in order not to notice my departure – 500 thousand Kenyan shillings.
I wrote him a check and he let me go. And, relying on the will of God and the skill of the freediver, I jumped from the ship into the sea. I swam for a long, very long time, but the sea helped me, I felt its support and I managed to safely swim to the coast, which I could not see in the dark, but it was something like a desert.
I was afraid of poisonous snakes and predatory animals that go hunting in the desert at night and therefore decided to wait for the morning, standing near the water’s edge.
And when the sun rose, I saw an incredibly majestic and endless desert. I realized that it was Sahara. I had no idea where to go and went where my eyes were looking.
I was barefoot, and as the sun approached its zenith, the sand became hotter and more and more burned my feet. So I walked about 25 miles.
In fact, I could have walked a hundred miles and not met anyone, but a real miracle happened, I met Bedouins who decided to take a car ride in the desert.
And they gave me water to drink, gave me clean clothes and I became a participant in their trip, though I don’t know where we are now …
Adam’s voice trembled with indescribable sensations …
And many more people and many more stories …
We just found ourselves in a whirlpool of events taking place with our friends and acquaintances, experiencing them together with them, trying to help them at least with something. And in these conversations day after day, day after day passed, and we did not even think about our own situation and how we ourselves will continue to live.
We wanted to leave the huge and crowded Istanbul, to Antalya, Dalaman or just out of city to calmly think over and analyze the situation, but we were constantly waiting for the arrival of one or another of our friends …
True, we understood that something was wrong here, all these stories were very strange, but until some time we believed them.
Since almost each of them gave in his story such details that no one except us and him and maybe a few more people could have known and because there was no thought in our head that the voice of a familiar person can be spoken not by a human or a robot … Who then? And how?
For a long time we did not realize that we were not talking with these people and not even with people in general, although the timbre and intonation of the voice that we heard from the phone were exactly the same as those of our friends.
But at some point the events they described seemed too incredible to us and we realized that all these conversations were not with real people.
And even now, almost eleven months have passed since our departure, but we have not been able to contact any real person from Eilat.
And the only thing that we understood is that none of them left anywhere and we did not speak to any of them after leaving.
“Guys, I wanted to catch a train to Istanbul, but you remember that before leaving, an employee at Hapoalim bank broke my bank card, and Google Pay does not work in Turkey, I did not know that. So I had to look for an exchanger. While I found it and changed money, the train unfortunately had already left and I went to the bus station.
I saw a bus to Adana and hurried to get on it. But there an elderly woman suddenly hit me in the face and called the guards. They took me out of the bus station and blacklisted me. It turns out that the bus was purely female and men were not allowed there. I did not know anything about that!” – Aviv’s offended voice rang out in the phone.
“I left Mersin by minibus and I’m already in Adana. But I would not like to find a place to sleep here, but to go further. I don’t know if it will work”, he said an hour later.
“I managed to catch a bus to Konya. However, it is quite old and it looks very likely that it may soon break down. But I’m on my way”
“So it turned out, the bus, unfortunately, broke down and it looks like we will spend the night here. Let’s call you in the morning”, he said, calling a couple of hours later.
“Yes, guys, I felt that the night would not be easy. All the passengers, the elderly men, gathered to pray, and before that it is need to wash the bus, and I had to do it, because everyone on the bus was much older than me, and the place for prayer should be clean. While I was hauling water from a well nearby and washing the bus, my clothes became completely dirty and wet with sweat. And in order not to hurt the feelings of my fellow travelers, I had to rent a clean shirt and trousers from one of them to change for prayer.
Now we have come to the village, not far from the place where the bus broke down, so that everyone can rest and have a snack”, that was Aviv’s story the next morning.
A few hours later, he called again with shocking news.
“It was terrible. They took me into a room and closed the door. There was an older woman in the room, older than my mother, and they wanted me to marry her. I broke out, broke down the door and ran away… but I do not know where I am, I do not know where to go and I am afraid that they will look for me…”
“I just barely escaped from some strange people. I got lost and now I do not know where the road on which the bus was traveling is. This is some kind of cut off from civilization area and I do not understand how to get out of it.”
What to do? You can’t leave a friend, you have to help him somehow, save him!
And we called some wealthy man, Yaron, who was recommended to us by a Mexican friend. Yaron hired a taxi driver who understood where to go and knew where the area was. And to this day, I still don’t fully understand what happened then. I had a very strange feeling when the taxi driver was looking for Aviv in the coming dusk, and we were in touch with Yaron, and he in turn was in touch with the taxi driver, who was beginning, not without reason, to worry.
“I don’t see him. I can’t find it. Where exactly is it located? Soon it will be quite dark and then we will definitely not find him”.
“The taxi driver passed by, he needs to go back. Yes, Aviv is here, on a side street. I feel like someone is telling me that it is,” I said.
“Yes, there’s someone lying next to the curb. Some red-haired guy, he looks like the one in the photo. I found him and got in the car”.
Hurray! We breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, we can relax a little.
“I’m going in the taxi. My clothes were completely torn, but the taxi driver gave me another one. I hope everything goes well.” – we soon heard the tired voice of Aviv.
The taxi driver took him to a port and from there, a few hours later, Aviv sailed on a ship to Malta.
To be continued…
So, we left the country and on July 16 in the morning we landed in Sabiha Airport of Istanbul, this vast, beautiful, amazing city on two seas and two parts of the world.
A couple of days after our arrival, we received a formidable note from the army that if the questionnaire was not completely filled out, they would come home for our son and take him to the service.
I was very worried and, taking out a SIM card from my phone, threw it away.
In general, the first time after arrival, we were only busy looking for suitable accommodation, our impressions and experiences.
We still did not fully understand the meaning of what we did and what happened and what a difficult situation we were in.
Then we decided to contact our friends from Eilat, who, it seems, also expressed a desire to leave and coordinate an action plan.
And it seemed that most of our friends also left by different ways and they would like to continue the journey with us.
Our conversations with them simply broke records for the duration, they lasted for hours and reminded an action-packed film …
… Filled with heroic, funny, and sometimes even fantastic adventure events.
“Hello, I am sailing on a ship from Eilat. Now the ship has stopped in Egypt. It is terrible here on the ship, insane heat and stuffiness, absolutely no normal conditions …”
All the sailors on the ship are incredibly tall, just huge Africans, they cause me great concern … “- we heard Ariel’s voice.
“So get out soon, because until the next stop where you can get off, the ship will sail for at least a month” – we said.
“Yes, really. Now I will quickly pack my things and run – the ship leaves in just a few minutes” – this is how the story-odyssey of “Ariel” began.
And he went out in Egypt, got to Cairo, and then he got to a military base, walked 1,500 kilometers through the desert without water, food and sleep, almost reaching Turkey …
… Sailed on a ship with cannibals, where he was offered to join the meal … and almost every day he called us and told us about everything that happened to him and moreover, surprisingly, he called at the very moment when we came home from a walk.
And once in the evening he called and said that he was at the computer of some significant man and he had access to information and all night he was telling us an endless number of stories about almost all of my acquaintances, naming the names of those people about whom I had almost forgotten, telling some unknown episodes from their lives and how their fates developed. This conversation lasted from 9 pm to 5 am.
Ariel also showed interest in our life and health and asked us to write down a set of physical exercises and called every day and asked how we cope with them.
“Hello! I left the country and I am in Tirana. But, frankly, I do not know what to do next. How are you and where are you?” – this was a call from Aviv.
“We are in Istanbul, join us,” we replied.
After thinking it over, he decided to do so.
“Hi guys! There were no tickets to Istanbul and I flew to Mersin. I am already in Turkey. It needs to find where the bus stops here to the city.
Oh guys, here is Shekel! How I miss this baby. There is a cat, it is exactly like Shekel, I took it in my arms and pat it, it is completely tame”.
Only a few months later it occurred to us to look and we discovered that in fact there is no airport in Mersin … And Shekel was a cat – a common favorite in the diving club in Eilat.
A whole series of misadventures awaited ostensibly Aviv, about which he constantly told us on the phone.
And we were in touch around the clock, going through with him those steep turns that fate sent him, trying to help him as best we could.
“I missed the train a bit and went to the bus station. I saw a bus to Adana and hurried to run into it, but was suddenly stopped by a heavy slap in the face from an elderly woman driver. It was terrible, I was taken out of the bus station by the guards and blacklisted. It turns out that the bus was purely female and men were not allowed there. I did not know anything about that!” – his offended voice rang out.
The episode continues …
After all the events described in the previous episode, to stay in our new apartment for the night, to be honest, was a little scary for us.
But what to do?
Staying overnight at the diving club, when we told everyone that we had rented an apartment, was stupid and inconvenient. We decided that we should calm down, tune in to the positive and boldly go to spend the night in a rented apartment and not think about “some nonsense” and “all sorts of nonsense”.
But still, the idea of spending the whole night inside the apartment seemed quite uncomfortable to us, or simply put, caused panic fear, so we decided to sleep in the courtyard.
Although it was winter, and on a winter night outside, even in Eilat, it was very cool.
So we brought a couple of warm blankets for each of us from the diving club, pulled out a second sofa in the courtyard, and resolutely went to bed. It was Friday, the Sabbath.
My son and I wished each other good night, and tried to relax, but I could not sleep and I decided to go outside the courtyard to the street through the iron door of the high, with stakes on top, gate for some need. I didn’t have the courage to go into the bathroom in my apartment at night.
The door was closed with a latch that opened from the inside and from the outside. After a couple of minutes, I go back and pull the door… to no avail, it’s locked, I try to open the latch again and again, .. in vain…the door does not open,it is somehow closed from the inside.
What should I do? I try to knock, to shout to my son… but he doesn’t hear…
Finally, desperate to reach him, I try to climb over the fence. And then, when I climbed a little higher on the fence and the yard was within my sight, I saw that the light in the apartment turned on and off.
Then it went out and flashed again and went out again. Now I clearly understood that something strange and unpleasant was happening there, and this increased my growing anxiety. But I didn’t manage to climb over the fence, there are high stakes on top of the fence, and the inside is smooth and there is nowhere to put my foot.
I continued to stand hesitantly on the fence until my son finally opened the door. When I finally got to the courtyard, I ran to the apartment from inside which I could hear some vague noise. When I opened the door, full of apprehension, we saw that from all the taps – in the kitchen and in the bathroom – were leaking water… on the floor because the drain hoses are pulled out at the bottom.
This time, the water flowed from the shower, the hose from which lay on the floor of the shower. The washing machine ‘came to life’ again and again in some unknown way, the wire from it (which had previously been lying on the floor… it turned out to be inserted into the socket, the door was closed, the washing program was set, and at the same time the drain plug was unscrewed and the water from it also flows to the floor. And on the floor there is already a layer of water four inches high.
I rushed to close the taps and insert the drain hoses, the socket from the washing machine, when I pulled it, fortunately accidentally was pulled out with “meat”. Then, with a bucket and a scoop, I hurriedly began to collect water, hoping that this “wonderful” picture would not be seen by the owners. But as soon as I managed to remove at least some of the water, the taps were opened again and of course the drain hoses were pulled out again.
And finally, as if indignant at my stupidity and lack of understanding that I should have just left there long ago, the massive metal front door began to close.
Seeing this, I ran to the door, but it kept closing inexorably. I had a claustrophobic panic, and I screamed at my son to help me. And now we manage to hold the door together. But I do not understand what to do with the water and stupidly try to make another attempt to remove it .And the door starts to close again. And I jump out of the apartment in horror, drawing in my imagination a “pleasant” picture of how I will not only be closed there, but also will again be watered with caustic soapy liquids. Brrr!
We thought that in the morning I might be able to restore at least some order and decided to make another attempt to sleep.
Except for the fact that several times I got out the blanket that flew to the roof of our house and had to get it out with a mop, because it was cold without it, the disappearance of the sandals in which I came and my phone, nothing else strange or scary happened until the morning.
And in the morning, when we timidly settled down in the courtyard to have breakfast and drink tea after a difficult night, the keys to the apartment, hanging in the keyhole, disappeared, and the apartment itself was closed…
Then my bag disappeared, in which were our passports and credit cards, money… and that’s when I felt that I couldn’t do it anymore. I sat in a daze and complete shock and didn’t know what to do… if the bag is not found. Go to work, to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, to the police, to the bank? Say that everything was stolen from us? Where? Who! How? All these options seemed extremely absurd and unpleasant.
However, after a while, the situation, fortunately, was resolved.
We returned the bag (the door to the apartment opened and we found it there) and the phone. Then one sandal landed right in the electric kettle, and then the second one fell to the ground from somewhere.
As soon as the necessary things were returned to us, nothing no longer delayed us there.
And while we were getting ready, the red light on the boiler already warningly lit up, as if advising us to be more careful, and we decided to leave as soon as possible without closing the door with a key.
These keys were returned to us a few hours later, when we were walking from the Gourmet store after finishing my work, and I said that I would never stay in that apartment again. Immediately, right in front of me, from above, almost touching my nose, the keys fell on the asphalt.
A few days later, we decided to make a trip to Grape Lane to pick up our things. Moreover, my son preferred to stay near the gate of the house while I quickly, trying to concentrate inside myself and not give in to fear, collected things.
As you probably understood, we refused to rent that apartment.
And since then, we have become afraid of washing machines…
And over time, we realized that the apartment was not suitable for us to live in.
And it is quite possible that this whole performance was a blessing and a good lesson for us.