Five weeks after moving in with Adele in Germany, we boarded a plane bound for Turkey. I’m not sure what I was interested in seeing most, the country or Frieda. I guess the answer to that would probably be the latter. I’d seen enough pictures of the country in which both Frieda and Adele had shared many pictures of over the years when they would vacation there, and I wasn’t very impressed with the rocky country. Instead of fine soft smooth sand on the beaches, the pictures they shared showed stones and pebbles that I would hate to walk on. Much of the buildings seemed to be carved out of rock and it just didn’t seem like a very pleasant or comfortable place to be in general. At least I would enjoy the weather and maybe the food. I actually had no idea about the food, but I liked most things, so I wasn’t too worried about it.
The flying time was pretty comparable to flying from New England to Florida. Once we got there and exited the airport, I could tell right away that it was noticeably warmer. Germany wasn’t cold yet since it was still early August, but Antalya was definitely warmer being further south.
I thought of times I’d seen Turkey and similar countries on TV and how the cramped cobblestone streets seemed to be narrow and congested. People would zoom by on bicycles and mopeds and pedestrians would have to quickly jump out of the way. Even passing traffic looked a bit unnerving since there wouldn’t be much space between the vehicle and the walls of the buildings.
“Where to now?“ I asked Adele as we wheeled our suitcases through the airport.
“Our friends, Hans and Irene are to pick us up.“
“Oh yeah, they’re the ones that own the yacht, right?“
Adele nodded and a moment later erupted into a coughing fit so vicious that she had to stop for a minute.
“Are you all right?“ I asked with concern.
Unable to speak just yet, she nodded.
“Want me to run and fetch some water for you?“
Adele shook her head and was finally able to say, “Nein, Danke. I’ll be okay. My God, though. I really better get this checked out when we get back.”
“Yeah, it seems to have gotten worse just in the time I’ve been with you.”
Although I could see Adele was a bit concerned, she smiled and said, “Yes, but let’s not let it spoil our fun.”
Determined to enjoy myself right along with her, we grinned and then trekked through the airport and were soon greeted by her friends.
Hans and Irene looked like any ordinary older couple. Adele had said they were in their late fifties. They were dressed casually, and I could tell they spent a lot of time outdoors just by their tans.
They hugged Adele and then they smiled and shook my hand. Then they spoke in German with each other and I looked quizzically at Adele.
“We’re going to head to the boat now,“ she told me.
“I’m sorry,“ said Hans, “I should make an effort to speak English more often because God knows I could use the practice anyway.“
I smiled and assured him it was quite okay.
We loaded our suitcases into their car and off we went. I couldn’t help but ask if Frieda had arrived yet.
“Yes,“ the couple said from up front. “She is already on the boat. We picked her up earlier and brought her there and now here we are to get you as well.“
Adele flashed me a look of warning to remind me that I was supposed to keep away from her. I smiled at her to reassure her that I wouldn’t make any trouble.
Deep down I was both excited and dreading the reality of knowing that I was about to meet the one and only Miss Frieda Lucke.