From Local to Yokel

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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Corridors of Power

Our first encounter with Turkish bureaucracy was a salutary lesson for people like us living in the internet age where everything can be arranged from the comfort of an armchair. Alahan guided us through various corridors of power to collect the nod from an assortment of petty officials in cheap suits sitting behind excessively large desks framed by the flags of all nations. Alahan was a marvel, dispensing charm liberally to get us to the front of various queues. However, I suspect he’s burdened us with the most expensive Turkcell tariff imaginable judging by the number of units we’re using for even the shortest calls.