My weekend did not start out as I’d expected or hoped for, at all! On Friday 22nd October I had been in Turkey 1 whole month and had been able to indulge in all the food I wanted to, so of course the weight and centimetres were going to follow – I was 1 kg heavier than when I arrived in Turkey which isn’t bad at all. I was also going to get retested for allergies but I had to eat everything for at least 6 weeks in order to get an accurate result.
I didn’t have any breakfast because I had a very important appointment in Muğla with Sonuç for my residency application. The workmen next door were already working early as I waited for Sonuç outside, he was on time and it felt cold. We had all our paperwork in order and after a long drive we arrived and I went in to the building. I had to show my HES code at the security on the door and give my name, Sonuç wasn’t allowed in and was on the end of a phonecall for if there were any questions as I sat in the waiting room. I never went in to the meeting room and the immigration man came out to me, looked over the paperwork, asked some questions about it and then went away. When he came back he said that they couldn’t agree to give me residency without more paperwork from the owner of the property. We got Sonuç on the phone and they spoke at length and I left with all my paperwork and tears in my eyes. There was already another girl blubbing away and I’d given her my tissues, while her mother consoled her.

Sonuç was waiting for me outside the Muğla immigration building as I left my residency appointment feeling upset and worried. Without the residency permit I am only allowed to stay in Turkey for 90 days (which would take me to 21st December) and then I’m not allowed to return for a further 90 days. This meant that when I leave Turkey for England in December I would not be allowed in to Turkey again until March. All sorts of concerns were going through my head about where I would be able to live as I can not afford to move back to the UK, my money is in a Turkish bank and the lira is so high at the moment that when I convert any of it to English it loses about half the value it was when I put it in the bank. It just wasn’t an option and neither was returning to Vietnam, as the country is still closed to tourists.
Sonuç was calm and was looking at a piece of paper which the immigration officer had put in to my document wallet. He explained to me that we could come back and they would accept me if we could provide officially stamped copies of the extra documents they asked for. Sonuç said it was the only way and it had to be done now or the application would be denied and that would be it!
After a couple of phonecalls and adding more stress to a friend who agreed to help me we were on for getting the extra paperwork and I was so overwhelmed I didn’t know what to say. We waited at a cafe where we got some breakfast and a hot beverage and before an hour had passed my friend had done everything we had asked, she had emailed the required documents at the stationers to Sonuç and we were driving to find a shop with a printer. When I went back in to the immigration office I had to wait a little while as it was fairly busy and I was so nervous, the official who I saw previously was there but my file was given to another man. After what was the longest 30 minutes of my life he came back and asked if I was requesting 1 or 2 years and took all of the papers away with him. Another 10 minutes later, if that, he came out with my official paper to say I had been accepted and that my residency card would arrive in 4 weeks, he kept all the documents and that was it. I was still sat there in shock and he had to tell me we were finished. Outside, Sonuç was waiting and we took a selfie, he even posted on Facebook that Dalyan was now stuck with me for 2 years!!! We were so happy and the drive back towards Dalyan was chirpy!

Our next stop was in Ortaca, back to the Devlet hospital to see the doctor about my cyst. By the time we got there the temperature had gone from 12°C to 32°C and I was hot. We couldn’t see the doctor because he was in surgery and the nurse wasn’t confident she would be able to give me the right advice so recommended we come back. We drove back to Dalyan and straight to Lukka bar where Sonuç had a tea and I ordered a celebratory red wine. I didn’t drink it yet as I now needed to go to the post office to get a password for an app on my phone called e-Devlet which is used for residents to book doctors appointments and access other apps for adding proof of vaccines in. I paid 2 lira and got a password then tootled back to Lukka where Ann had now joined us to help me celebrate. Once Sonuç had sorted the app out it crashed and we had to leave it in favour of celebrations that our stressful mornings were behind us. Sonuç had to go and I said thank you and farewell, I’m definitely glad I used him to do the residency or I would not have managed to have got accepted and he’s much calmer than me in a crisis. We ordered a Lukka bar lunch, Ann’s prawn spaghetti looked great and I had a gorgeous chicken and mushroom pasta dish.

More wines flowed in the afternoon and then my parents were passing and came to join us. After 1 more drink with them at Lukka we decided to go for dinner at Geçit restaurant, a firm favourite from previous years and one that our friend, Arif, had introduced us to. We had the complimentary lavaş with garlic butter, some olives to nibble on and a bottle of wine. Dad ordered soup, Mom had cheese rolls and I had garlic mushrooms for our starters, which were all lovely. For mains my parents both chose the lamb shank (Dad’s with mash, Mom’s with chips) which looked fantastic and they enjoyed it. I had an excellent pepper steak and I was so full that I could hardly finish the wine, also really good.

To finish off the celebrating of me becoming a Dalyan resident we went back to Lukka bar for the music bingo night where we sat at an indoor table next to the pool table and had a right old laugh and more booze. Mom won the 2nd round prize which was a liquid hand soap from Maizie Moo which was very lucky as she had needed to buy more soap! We finished off the night with Dad and I playing pool – I must have been drunk!

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