Initial Things About Turkey

Where’s the Guesthouse?

Since being hired to my university at the start of June, I’ve been thrown into this so called Turkish bureaucracy and I can’t say It’s been rubbing me the right way. I already knew it would be a true test on my patience…but still. I figured it would be common practice for a university who has hired you to communicate when you would start, if there was a change in your living arrangements they told you you may of course reside in until you find an apartment. This didn’t happen. Not only was I not told when the first day of classes were, nor when I was to report to the day, but I also wasn’t initially informed that the work visa will have to be acquired in country. Is that legal?? I’m still not sure. I do hope this isn’t some sham of an organization and job. I’d hate to struggle in Turkey. Like, a lot. My angel of a friend happened to call the university guesthouse that I was supposed to be staying in and they told him that they’re totally booked during the time I’m supposed to reside there. I’m grateful he called them because I would have been up shit creek once there. Though it’s an annoyance, I’m not too worried about it. In fact, I’m only worried about money. I know. Typical. But I’m broke, don’t speak the language, and need the school to not help me struggle anymore than I already am. Ha ha! I was promised a cash advance (though they keep refusing to call it this) once I get there. Now, If I’m paid at the start of the month instead of the end, is it not an advance? Perhaps I’m wrong. I’m not so skilled in such things.

Apartments

I’ve done several searches for apartments in my city, Manisa, and they’re quite reasonably priced; about $200-400 for a decent 2 bdrm 1 bth apartment with at least 100 meters sq space. I think this is very nice. Now, you can of course some up to $600-750 that are very nice indeed. These have wi-fi, alarm systems, car ports, fancy doors, lights, walk-ups, and maybe furnished. There are within my budget, but far from the school. Since I won’t have a car this doesn’t seem feasible to me. I’ve been told by my angel friend that I can definitely afford to buy a car there; but I’ve been warned about Turkish drivers. However, they apparently can’t drive in the larger cities and not so much my humble Manisa. We’ll see. I don’t believe them.
I still haven’t found an apartment yet as it apparently isn’t common practice to do so when not in the country. This feels weird, but I’ll take their word for it. Besides that, I’m a foreigner; and an obvious one at that. PLUS I’m a woman who doesn’t speak the language. All of those things would work against me. Also, I wouldn’t have a chance to see the place in person and would have to rely on the online pictures and descriptions. That sounds like a bad idea to me. Hopefully the university will give me my ‘advance’ and I can afford an apartment (perhaps unfurnished) near the school/ some interesting places and a good neighborhood or within walking/bus route distance. Hey, a girl can wish, right?

Visa

This process hasn’t been as painful as it was to go to France. Not by a long stretch. The university sent me a small stack of things to fill out; one was for them, the other for the visa. I mailed them a copy of my transcript as well as a translated one. I would have sent them my teaching one but there was some problem with them and my director returned them. I just received it last week. That’s it. Perhaps to simple but my head teacher if you will said I’ll have to do some more things once I get there. She told me to just get a tourist visa (which you can do online for $20) and do an interview. I’m confused by this still as I don’t need the interview for this one but the actual work/residence visa I do…which I’m supposed to do once I get to Turkey. See my conundrum? It’ll be fine. A good friend of mine from Dallas keeps trying to get me to Istanbul where she’ll be doing her masters. If all fails and It turns sour for me (which I don’t think it will) in Manisa or Izmir, I’ll head to her in Istanbul.

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