Four and a half months

We have been living in Turkey for about four and a half months now.  It seems a long time since quitting the NHS in July of this year and yet our arrival in the blazing heat of August seems far more recent.  In the time we have been here we have achieved most of the many tasks we set ourselves and learned a good deal of how things work here.

We have Residence Permits and all that goes with them.

We have bought a house.

We have sorted out most of the finances.

In achieving these there have been many trips to officials to have documents translated, to have documents notarised, to have copies made of many other documents, forms to sign, solicitors to deal with, translators, and so on.  There has been hand holding at times by others who have better command of the language and / or the bureaucracy, and times when we have managed on our own.  We have encountered many officials, all of who have been helpful and polite.  Everyone who has helped us has been great, has smiled, been polite.

On top of these big tasks we have phone, internet, mobile phone in our names, registered a UK mobile phone, and many other smaller tasks completed.  We have also started to make some changes to our new home, moved the washing machine, freed up space in the kitchen, had the damp course and drainage done at the back, started to make alterations to the roof terrace.   The house we bought is feeling like home now.

There are still some bits to do.  We are in the process of sorting out health insurance.  Our stuff will arrive in Izmir at some point and need getting through customs – just heard about this, arriving next week.  So we’re hoping to have our 15 boxes either before the end of this year or fairly early next.  It takes stuff time to clear through customs.

Then there are two large tasks.  The concrete steps up to the house and the concrete in the courtyard needs to be replaced, the surface has suffered in the weather and the steps need to be changed to a ramp.  Once this is done and the gate altered slightly we have somewhere safe and off road to store a motorcycle.  Hopefully by early spring we will have a motorcycle and dealt with the mass of paperwork and bureaucracy which goes with motor vehicles.

Looking back, things have not always gone to plan, but have been achieved in the generally anticipated time frame.  Many familiar things are done differently here, partly familiar and then all of a sudden different.  It is easy to trip when suddenly hit with the difference, and even easier without command of a common language.  It is all too easy to fear, to suspect, to question motives.  It is hard to go with the flow, with “this is Turkey”, to accept the differences, to trust the unfamiliar.  It has been hard, it has been very rewarding.

We have done well, will do even better.   And soon we’ll have the bike.

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8 responses to “Four and a half months

  1. I am absolutely amazed at how much you have achieved in such a short time. Its taken me years to achieve much less…even with the help of a Turkish husband! So well done you two! Here’s to a very happy future xx

    • Thanks. I think all the research helped a great deal, and helped avoid mistakes. What helped the most was probably the helpfulness and warmth of the many people, Turks and others, we have encountered along the way.

  2. You have done well. Have a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

  3. I bet you can’t wait for the bike! Glorious road trips ahead!

    • Can go east for more than a thousand miles and still be in Turkey. Many months of dry sunny weather. Amazing places to visit. It is going to be fantastic. As you say, I cannot want.

  4. I have been here since mid October and despite the fact that all is done for me either by my company or my Turkish friends, I am still getting angry and frustrated, complaining, not accepting. Reading the last paragraph made me think what happened to that open and diversity seeking person I thought myself to be. I need to relaaaax! You are right, easy is not the way out from this situation.

    • What helped for us was to go and do some of the tasks on our own, and to stay involved in all of them. Learning how and why things are done in a particular way really helped reduce frustration.

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