I woke up on Thursday 30th December at 8am having been cold in the night and it was less than 15°C and dark. I went to Tez bar at 10am for my PCR test, on my way round I took a photo of the progress of the villa on the building site next door. I didn’t have any internet at home as it had lapsed on Christmas day, I needed to top up my phone credit and I ought to buy bread, there are no rules in Turkey about having to have a PCR test on entry but I wanted to be sure, so that I could get on with going out and about. After my test I went to the Turkcell shop where I found out my phone needed to be registered in Ortaca, which I couldn’t do until my PCR results. Here in Turkey all foreign phones have to be registered if you are here after 3 months and it costs more in tax than my phone is worth so I was reluctant to bother with having a phone for now. I managed to extend my home internet for another 2 months and was told the price would be going up by 20% for 2022. On my way back home I bought bread and a simit for breakfast from the local bakery. Tez had said he would try to give me my results the same day but it would definitely be within 24 hours so I got on with unpacking, washing and various bits and bobs at home. I had a plain turkey ham sandwich for lunch, then got my remaining Morrison’s cherry bakewells out to have one for dessert, and was glad I had left the fridge freezer on with some food in so I didn’t have to go shoping straight away. The Turkish lira was now at 18 lira to the pound meaning my money was worth almost a third of what it was and prices in Dalyan were constantly being readjusted. While I had been away it had gone up to over 24 and the locals were really suffering.
It was raining heavily all day and it was Bryan’s mom’s birthday today but I couldn’t join my friends yet, just to be on the safe side. Another friend of their’s, Jesper, who I also met in Vietnam was arriving tonight and I wouldn’t be able to join them until my result came back. I had a sore throat and was feeling a bit tired so I had another Turkey ham sandwich, a cherry bakewell, crisps and a couple of herbal teas with honey to sort me out. That evening I found out that my sister had tested positive, with no symptoms, on a lateral flow test and Sumo the dog had a funny cough/sneeze going on so I was a bit nervous for my PCR result from Tez.
It came through at just after 10.30pm, so not bad for a 12.5 hour turn around at 300 lira (£16.70) and it was both good news and bad news!
Although the document said negative on it, there was an additional comment that it wasn’t a suitable document to fly with, when I asked he said it was because my result was inconclusive and I had to isolate until they could do another test on Saturday!
Friday 31st December, the last day of a pretty unpredictable year, was not as planned either! My friends Mik, Hamish & Ania, Bryan & Kendra and Jesper were all in Dalyan to help celebrate the new year with me. Ann’s family were here too and we had plans for us all to go for a curry at Spice Garden. Due to the Corona situation Ann decided to cancel her small group and have a curry delivered at home. My friends were still going to go but, due to my inconclusive PCR result I had to cancel and isolate until tomorrow. I was gutted to have to cancel all our plans, including my hair appointment and hoped I could move it to another day before or on my birthday! On the Dalyan Corona heat map it was showing lots of cases at the moment and my hairdresser was fine for me to cancel and he moved Ania forward to 3pm. I decided to do an LFT, which I had brought with me and the result was negative, although I still felt incredibly tired and poorly. It was weigh-in day so, having had a monstrous consumption last week, I was not surprised that I had put on 0.75kg making me 1.75kg heavier than when I left Turkey for the Christmas holiday – not too bad I suppose and definitely worth all the food and drink I had!
I was very happy to speak to Captain Caveman and he had been given his new schedule for 2022. As we expected, it would take a miracle for me to see him before September 2022 so we both resigned ourselves to that. Luckily we are both practical people and there wasn’t anything we could do about the situation, except to get on with it – I knew this might be the case when I chose to leave Vietnam and it was the risk we had to take if I wanted to see my family and friends and to look for paid work. Vietnam was slowly starting to open up but the likelihood of me getting back there, as a UK citizen, or for longer than a 30 day tourist visa were zero right now. I didn’t have any breakfast but I did have a hot sausage roll and red cabbage for lunch, I’d received offers of help with shopping (if I needed anything) from Jamie, Katrina and Tez so I felt fine plus I was fully stocked up in the freezer which I was so grateful for. In the afternoon I started to feel a bit run down and I looked pretty tired so I connected 2 Phong Nha friends together after discovering they were both in Dubai and didn’t know each other, I made chicken fajitas in the slow cooker, using one of the packet mixes I’d brought back from the UK and got on with organising our planned boat trips in early January, assuming I would be negative for Corona and we would all be able to go. This was also the second day in a row that I had no alcohol whatsoever as I wasn’t feeling up to it. I struggled to keep awake for the new year but once in bed I sent messages to family and then fell asleep before the UK midnight!