I was introduced to Enver, the Turkish underwater archaeologist by Lindsay, on the Trans Asya Express. Top bloke, and I slightly regret not having more of a conversation with him about his passion for sea-kayaking adventures. Enver was on his first couple of weeks annual holiday since starting his new job with the world’s second largest glass company. He more strongly identified with his passion and qualifications as an archaeologist though. He had a decent grasp of the significance of what history you can find on dry ground too. As he explained it’s pretty hard to make a living as an archaeologist in the best of situations, let alone being in Turkey and needing to try and find sponsors for your work.
Regardless of his profession, Enver did a grand job of looking after the slightly more naïve or linguistically-constrained Aussies and Dutch on the train, especially when it came to ‘bargaining asian-style’. Two moments stand out: offering to bargain with the hotel staff and take them to task about the state of our room….after we had arrived unannounced at 3am. The second, was his be-friending of Salumen, a muscular, cauliflower-eared import-export hard-man who negoatiated our first taxi in Tehran…and then paid. I met Salumen for 5 minutes really, but would seriously consider taking him up of his offer to help if I ever got in trouble in Pakistan. If I did call him, I imagine one of two things happening – he would either send an Apache helicopter gunship full of mercenaries, or perhaps just tell me to go the nearest of his companies offices throughout central Asia. Clearly, I hope it’s the first.
Back to Enver. All I can say is that he seemed like a top bloke. If you are not Australian and reading this, just rest assured that this is about the highest compliment you can get. Cheers to Enver.