Wednesday, April 22, 2009

This is Turkey Baby!

By way of recap, let me just say that Mr. This Cat's (Not) Abroad and I actually received our residency cards (apparently three time's the charm) and are now illegally working legally residing in The Land of the Turk. Huzzah! So to celebrate our status as illegal workers legal residents, we headed off to Turk Telekom to have a phone/internet line put into our place of legal residence.

Aside from the Byzantine paperwork - and we all now know that byzantine has become a byword for an inflexible and conservative bureaucracy - which included two separate application booklets not unlike Canadian tax return forms - except more complicated (the phone application not the tax returns) - the process wasn't too hellish. Of course, going with a bilingual colleague helped. And by helped, I mean that it would have been impossible otherwise.

We were ushered into the private basement office of the manager, and offered tea, snacks, a meal - and I think Mr. This Cat's (Not) Abroad may have been offered a young girl. Or boy. Who knows? We really just wanted an internet connection. We were told that our phone would be installed the very next day and that once it was installed, we should return to Turk Telekom to pick up our modem. Couldn't we take it now? we asked, eyeing the shelves of boxed modems two feet away from where we were sitting. No, it's not done that way, we were told. Of course not.

With promises of a next day installation, we nonetheless left Turk Telekom with high spirits. Yes, we would have to cancel our trip to Istanbul scheduled for the following day, but no matter: we would have internet the very next day. Our absence - albeit impending, we giggled, from Starbucks & its free wifi will probably bankrupt the Izmit branch.

It is probably completely unnecessary to say that the Turk Telekom man did not show up the following day. Nor the day after that.

But he did arrive on Monday. With tools. And with those tools and his uncanny telephonic intuition, he was able to find the phone line - we couldn't find any jacks ourselves - and tinkered and pottered a bit and voilà! - we were connected. And what did our connected, usable phone line look like? See the photo, above left. Yes, that little bifurcated snake-tongue of a wire is our working telephone line. What the fuck were we supposed to do with that?

The following day - also known as yesterday - we went back to Turk Tele
kom to pick up our modem. Huzzah! It was waiting for us on that shelf we had eyed so greedily the previous week. We hurried home and unwrapped it. Mr. This Cat's (Not) Abroad then scurried to the dollar store on our street (there are, in fact five and they are known as Japanese Bazaars - or Japon Pashar's) and bought a wall jack in the hopes of being able to jerry-rig something.

But it was not to be. There were too many wires, or not enough - I have no clue. Instead we called our Turkish-speaking colleague to ask what we were to do with the little bifurcated snake-tongue of a wire sticking out of our wall. There's a little bifurcated snake-tongue of a wire sticking out of our wall! we wailed. To which she responded, Of course there is. This is Turkey, baby!

She sent her
Civil Engineer Boyfriend over with lots of terribly serious-looking tools and he fiddled about and managed to connect our little bifurcated snake-tongue of a wire to the modem. This man - deemed qualified by the Government of Turkey to build bridges - hooked up our modem to the telephone line thusly - see photo, below right. To be fair, I suppose, he is a civil engineer rather than an electrical engineer.

We tested the modem and
voilà! - all the little lights flickered. But no! - where was the internet connection? Where's the fucking internet connection?!! I screamed. The Civil Engineer Boyfriend - by this point possibly frightened of me - duly called Turk Telekom and inquired as to our internet status, or rather, lack thereof.

Ahhh ... it seems that it takes three days for Turk Telekom to turn on the internet once its been hooked up. Three days. Which probably means five. Or October. So it's back to Starbucks.

And why three days (Or five. Or October)? you ask. Because this is Turkey, baby.


Snowflake said...

Well, you ARE in Europe after all. Is Istanbul (not Constantinople) as 3rd world as Izmit seems to be?

This Cat's Abroad said...

... do you mean as 3rd World as Italy?

Cath said...

We should get a little pool going on when you'll actually be hooked up. $5 says April 27!

Snowflake said...

I was trying to be nice but yes, as 3rd world as Italy. I'll put $5 on April 24!

This Cat's Abroad said...

Ta dahhhhhhhhhhhhh ... April 23rd!

Cath said...

Damned efficient Turks!

Miss Footloose said...

You mean only ONE man came to help you hook up the gadget? He didn't bring 4 others to stand around and admire his expertise?

Just think, if you stayed at home you wouldn't nearly have so much fun!

Miss Footloose