It’s Sod’s Law. As soon we decide to paddle back to Blighty on the evening tide to become country yokels, two things happen to make life in battered Bodrum just that little bit easier and that little bit cheaper.
First off, the Town’s highways and byways are being laid with fibre optic cables. A battalion of dusky, sweaty vested navvies is carving out mini-trenches along every street. The deep furrows are being backfilled badly and dribbled with lumpy tarmac. In some of the crazy paving alleys, zigzagging troughs look like hastily repaired earthquake cracks.
The project is a joint venture between Super Online (internet) and Turkcell (mobile phone). Fibre optic cables provide a much faster and more reliable internet experience and the new service will give the current whore’s drawers service from TTNET (Turk Telekom) a run for its money. Who knows, it may even drive down prices. I hear there are also plans for cable TV in the pipeline. Oh, what joy: the chance to tell Digiturk (Satellite broadcaster) where to shove their overpriced packages.
And so to the second piece of good news. Dolly drivers on the flat fare blue-liveried bus routes now charge us the tariff usually reserved for locals (2 lira instead of 2.75 as advertised in English). It’s only taken two years. Sadly, we’ve yet to get the local rate at cute Ali’s barbers for our one-round-the-side-two-on-the-top crops. He’s worth it though. Even without the ‘extras’.
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We’re busy planning our repatriation to Blighty. We’re not actually leaving until June but it pays to start early. As my project guru, Liam has drawn up a long list of ‘must do’s’. Top of the agenda? Ditching our account with Digiturk, the national satellite TV broadcaster. We won’t miss it, not because it’s a bad service per se, but because more often than not we watch British TV through our VPN.
Liam rang Digiturk’s all singing, all dancing English Language call centre to cancel. The rude little runt on the end of the line was having none of it. Liam was given a cock and bull story about ‘applying’ to close our account by fax to Istanbul. We would need to provide another photocopy of my passport together with a notarised copy of my grandmother’s bra size. ‘You want to complain? Tough. My manager doesn’t speak English.’ Was the rude little runt having a bad day? Maybe he was fed up dealing with rude little emigreys. Liam rang a second time – different rude little runt, same rude little script. Digiturk’s tone deaf one-stop shop for expats seems to have developed two left feet. Liam kept his cool and thanked the brick wall for his help. There’s no point losing your rag with the hired help.
Eventually, we managed to close the account via an exchange of heated emails written in English and translated into Googled Turkish. Liam kept the message simple ‘I am moving to England. I am cancelling my service. You can’t stop me.’ It worked. Tick. Next?
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We channel-hopped on Digiturk and, by chance, came across the Turkish version of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ on the Show Channel. It’s called ‘Yok Böyle Dans’ which I think literally translates as ‘No Such Dance’. It’s a distant relative of the real thing but the theme tune is the same. It’s a lot of talking but not a lot of actual dancing, and goes on for five hours. I could roast a small chicken during the commercial breaks and not miss a thing. I lost the will to live. I’ll never criticise the licence fee again.