THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 43
…“Tough pickle, very tough pickle, Saied,” the taxi driver states the obvious…
“There are others who want me dead.” claims Aldona Afridi.
“Lucky for you, I stayed on this side of the Bosporus. So someone is after you, I don’t care that you are a criminal, I like you. How can such a nice man be in such a pickle? I will take you anywhere you want to go, no charge.”
“I do not know where to go… I mean I know where I want to go, but there one continent and an ocean to cross to get there. You see, I have valuable information for the Americans, but cannot seem to talk to the right people.”
“Tough pickle, very tough pickle, Saied.” Mehmet stops to decide whether any of his connections could possibly assist this pathetic man and his mysterious dilemma. “What do you have to trade, maybe I can find a way……stolen jewels, smuggled drugs, American dollars?”
“I only have this,” Aldona reaches for his left ankle.“
He hands his 3×5 “key to Istanbul” over to him.
“OOOooooo, Abdullah! This is better than money, a favor cashed in.”
“But what does this get me?”
“Who do you want to talk to and where?”
He gives over a meaningless name in a place in the United States.
“Oh really, you will need more than a telephone for this. Get into my taxi you Afridis, I think I know a way to talk to Galveston Texas. Hang on now.”
During their excursion through Istanbul’s maze-laden streets, Mehmet Ali explains where they are going. It turns out that he knows the operator of Turkey’s state owned radio station, his brother-in-law actually and if anyone could make this long distance connection, he could.
Three mosques, two idled street markets, and 20 minutes later, Mehmet and his passengers motor up to a building, topped off not with a dome but several antennae of different configurations. It is still early, 2:30 in the morning early, but this is a station that does not sleep.
103.00 METEOR RADYO FM utilizes the tallest spire on a deserted building with a sole lonesome announcer (Abad the Mad Morning Turk) at the microphone. There is a citywide buzz about the fracas at Sultan Ahmet Mosque; dead bodies always generate high audience participation.