Many things have happened these past three weeks and I am still trying to wrap my head around it all. I failed at updates this past week, but I will say that it is mostly due to the fact that internet at my apartment is non-existent. Well that’s a bit of a white lie – I can get a connection on my phone but not my computer – making some tasks that need the big screen a headache in a half. Thus I have been ‘forced’ to take up residency a few late nights in cafes around my school. Thankfully I love cafes.
Not to mention things like registering for courses (way easier said than done) hanging with the parentals and dealing with a messed up phone have take precedence on my time. Gotta have your priorities straight.
Now this post stems a bit from the ongoing struggles that is my life in Turkey – getting residency. I went through this back in Ankara and I thought that was a hassle, but sadly it has been more of a hassle in Istanbul. First things first I had to make an appointment online and my only choices were all super late at night. So with a 10pm appointment in the red light district of Istanbul I was a tad worry, as were the parental units. Thankfully I have befriended a Turk since then and he agreed to come along to be my personal translator.
The place was pretty much set up like a labyrinth with no directions what so ever. You had to ask to find anything and even then you got a different answer depending on who you asked about finding the right place. So we finally found the place, and my friend started to tell the police that I had a bus to catch and needed an earlier appointment. My appointment was not till 10pm and it was only 8pm. After being sent from one desk to another and back again a few times like a game of ping pong we started to make progress. My friend was trying to charm the female officer, but we soon realized that wasn’t going to work because he determined that she was more into one of the male officers – to include the spotting of a nice “love necklace” –> our saving entertainment for the evening.
Now my friend said to me in English that the officer had “beat on her neck” and the first way I interpreted this was that the officer had been beaten. But that was wrong – very wrong. What he was trying to say was the past tense of bite and once I figured this out – yes a demonstration of a vampire was needed to get back on the same level of understanding, I realized that he was trying to point out to me that the police officer was trying to cover up a hickey, which was on the side of her neck. Which had us both rolling in laughter. And then I spotted a few more where the makeup had failed. So there I am in the police station explaining a hickey and the pronunciation of it, because naturally he kept pronouncing it as “icky” which can you blame him? To sum it all up he soon was making up a song with the line of “icky girls get hickeys” –> haha like I said our saving entertainment because we then hit a barrier.
A big barrier.
I needed a bank document that I didn’t have in the correct format . Naturally it led to my Wednesday of hunting down a tax number and opening a Turkish bank account (another story for another time that I will preface by saying that it was extremely stressful).
Where things are now – well I am still working on getting said document and hopefully will have it cleared up by next week. I am super thankful I had a Turk with me. I recognized another exchange student at the station and told my Turk who followed it up by saying and “yes you see he brought a Turk friend also”. Haha – so lesson learned – if you go to a Police Station in Istanbul take a Turk with you because they will be needed – makes things a lot easier and you get seen a lot sooner.
The whole ordeal had us there till near 11 o’clock – and unfortunately I gotta return to the strange labyrinth were they send only the foreigners , but I think I would have had more of a panic attack if I went solo.
Cheers from a tired American who just wants Turkish Residency for 6 months.