Last week was a weird sort of week; I still cannot decide if it was a good one or not. I spent all week trying to sort out my residence permit and as anyone who’s been through it can tell you, it’s basically the equivalent of hell. When I first came in September, I was expecting to be issued a 3-year permit rather than the 8-months-long one they gave me, which expired last week. It still doesn’t make sense to me: my school year finishes at the end of June so you’d expect to get a residence permit at least until then. Well Turkish logic doesn’t quite agree. Since last week, I’ve been down to Emniyet, the police station, more times than I can count just trying to get them all the papers they want; it really never ends.
Knowing how helpful and welcoming Turkish people usually are, it shocked me as unhelpful the people working there are. Not only does no one speak even a little bit of English (which really should be a requirement for someone working in a department dealing with foreigners), they’re just down rude when you try asking for something. In the end, it took some pleading, begging and even some tears – I was at my limit by then, it’s amazing how stressful and frustrating these places can be especially when you don’t speak the language properly. I now have a temporary residence permit which can be used until actual one will be ready, which I’ve been told will only be issued in 90 days. The funniest thing about that, by the time I get it, I may have to go down there to get it renewed again. The joy.
On the other hand, I also had my Turkish language exams last week. I am now officially in the last segment of my Turkish language course and will be sitting for my C1 exams in less than six weeks. I’m amazed at the speed I’ve learned the language. I still remember my first Turkish class – I wondered how I would ever manage to speak this language properly. It is so different from anything I know: Urdu is quite close to Turkish but even so not as close as one would thing. The grammar still doesn’t make sense to me sometimes, another thing about Turkish logic my mind is trying to process.
I also started weekend German lessons as well, which is somehow gonna put an end to the weekend getaways (for now) but learning German has been on my bucket list for so long now… I started learning (or at least trying to learn) German in 2009 and all I remember is how to introduce myself. Shocking, I know. My priority right now remains trying to perfect my Turkish but German offers a refreshing change. You cannot imagine what 20-30 hours a week can do to your brain – I used to feel like I could never get away from it. Just going down for breakfast used to be so stressful. Now that I’m much much better at it, it’s definitely more relaxing and comfortable.