It's extremely nice to be one of six new native teachers. Not only is there opportunity to speak fluent English, but the school assigned three Turkish teachers and a driver to help us navigate the various agencies required to establish residency and begin the application for the work visa. Here is the day:
1) Find a translator. Drop off copies of the following documents for each of six teachers: passport, university diploma, transcripts, English teaching certificate.
2)Drink chai or coffee with said translator. He will not have the documents translated until Monday but he had time for a chat and to feed his 6 cats on the balcony of the house where we sipped the beverages. I did not breathe through my nose.
3) Walk to the Police station for Tax ID numbers. Get told that we live closer to a substation so we catch a dolmuş to the other end of town.
4)Fill out papers for a tax ID number. Wait for the papers to be processed.
5)Take a dolmuş back to the city center to open bank accounts. We have to show we can support ourselves with enough money in the bank in order to get our resident permits. The accounts are opened for three of the teachers (I already have an account...see earlier post)with a zero balance.
6)Call the school to deposit enough money in the accounts to make it look like we can support ourselves. The money will be withdrawn again on Monday and transferred back to the school.
7) Take a ferry to the heart of town to go the main police station and apply for resident permits.
8) Get interrogated by the officers. We're tourists on holiday. We show our bank account balances. We get sent to make copies and pay some money. Our passports are taken. We are told the permits will be finished in 10 days.
9) I lose my patience because now I can't travel. I tell them I have a trip to Greece planned. They put a "rush" on my passport so it will be done next Friday at 5:00 p.m. (Next Friday is equivalent to the Friday before Christmas Eve...my guess is they will close early and I'll be out of luck.)
10) We are issued a 1 1/2 inch square of paper that says we are applying for a resident permit.
11) We leave the building, walk to a taxi stand and negotiate a price to a popular Friday pub.
12) We drink of pint of Efes and enjoy each other's company.
13) We catch a ferry back to of side of the bay. (It's amazing how a pint and the sea breeze takes away the stress.)
14)I catch the bus from the ferry to my apartment, hop in the pool, swim some laps, hear a man speaking English, introduce myself to Stavros from Greece who was most helpful in giving me the name the apartment manager who speaks English an solves all kinds of problems....Who knows: I may get internet yet.
n.b. except for the lack of internet and the releasing of my passport, today was not stressful because we were accompanied by wonderful Turkish expediters. There's something to be said about strength in numbers.