Putting plans for the future aside we decided it was a good day for sorting out another of the basic essentials of life in Turkey. This may have been galvanised by Ashley having had a cold for the last few days and feeling quite unwell. Today we took ourselves off to Kuşadası and sorted out health insurance. This is needed since we are living here, our travel insurance has sort of covered it given we have been back and forth, but, longer term, getting local health insurance is a very good idea. At the present time Turkish state health insurance is probably not available to us, the situation is confusing and may change soon. We did not think it wise to wait.
We were given some quotes a couple of weeks ago so returned to that particular office with a few questions. When we got there the agent was at lunch, we decided to waste some time doing nothing much in particular and return later. Given it was pleasantly warm in the sun we went to a tea garden on the seafront, drinking tea is a great way to fill time, the Gűvercinli tea garden is particularly pleasant and very good value. The name means ‘Place with doves’ (loose translation) and it is run by the Belediye (roughly equivalent to the local council). The collared dove is a symbol of Kuşadası – the name Kuşadası itself means bird island. The tea garden opened last year, we think, it has fountains, a children’s play park and tables pushed right up against the waterside. It’s self-service and incredibly cheap considering the wonderful situation.
We had started to do a little window shopping which is much easier to do in Kuşadası in January than during tourist season, and bought a pair of combat pants, before we were called by the agent to let us know he had returned from lunch. We met, had some questions answered, talked a little about the various schemes, made some decisions. The only documentation requested was Residence Permits and we were asked for kimlik numbers, all of which we thoughtfully had to hand. We had some forms filled out, drank more tea, paid some money, and walked out with health insurance for both of us.