Archive for January 2009

Birds

About a year ago I hung a string of peanuts from one of the beams of the roof over the veranda hoping to get some Blue Tits feeding on it. None came and I had just about forgotten it was there until a few days when I saw a bird land on it. I think it’s a Great Tit rather than a Blue Tit because it’s quite large. I got the camera out and set up the tripod over the sink to capture it through the kitchen window.

Nice little thing isn’t he/she. Don’t know how to tell the difference between males and females.

I’ve been taking the dogs for long walks up the mountain with Rob, a friend of mine, and his dog Pancho.  Here they are.

Pancho is a real high energy dog and runs about five times as far as we walk. We did about four miles a couple of days ago which doesn’t sound like much but when you add in the five hundred metre climb at the end it’s enough.

I was glad to see that Rico Daniels’ blog is back online after a hiatus in which he lost everything. He is called ‘The Salvager’ and has had a series of programs on TV in UK. Very interesting bloke.

Still haven’t got my new documents for my scooter!

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Posted January 31, 2009 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Not so early this morning

Some nightmares just go on and on, do you find that?

Having had an abortive attempt at getting my scooter through its two yearly test yesterday I had positioned it ready to get an early test this morning. I didn’t bother arriving at the mobile test facility in Agullu until 8.30am safe in the knowledge that yesterday’s fiasco would not be repeated. Feeling quite satisfied with myself I parked my pick-up and looked around for the testing staff. Yok! I sat in my car, the rain showers (heavy) came every 15 minutes or so and nothing else happened at all.

Eventually (One hour and ten minutes) the rain eased off a bit and from Omer’s pide restaurant the royal blue suited staff emerged and wandered over the road to their vehicles. Full of hope and expectation I followed them with my scooter helmet all nicely polished.

Lots of chatting and faffing about ensued and eventually the rolling road was deployed after the 440 volt cable had the water blown out of the connections. Lots of gazing at the sky was being done by the staff, more of which later. The window on the office van opened and a little crowd formed round it, then it shut again.

About half an hour was taken up by rearranging the cars that had been parked around the rolling road last night and everyone who thought they were in prime position found themselves demoted, not me though, ha ha (premature laughter).
If you think this is all being a bit long winded you should have been there. It was much worse, my literary prowess doesn’t extend to conveying just how much time was being wasted. Actually that might be a bit unfair as I was beginning to have a jaundiced view of the whole affair by now. If only I had known what was going to happen!

With the help of one of the guys from the harbour who helps Selo with the Altug boats I eventually made it to the front of the queue to hand my documents through the van window and pay my 63.72 Lira. The charge is more for a car, 120TL (ish) I think. I was trying to contain my excitment and not jump up and down for joy as I moved away from the van with my receipt clutched in my trembling hand only to be relieved of another 20 Lira by the Kas Soforler Odasi representative for a service that had been rendered without me noticing. That brought me back to reality. I did get a receipt though. Well we are all rich yabancilar aren’t we, what’s 20 lira? Only four beers in Kas I found out last Saturday much to my chagrin. Whatever happened to the cost of living here?

I digress.

I stood bathed in a warm glow of happiness waiting for another half hour while they tested a few cars (they do them five at a time then open the van window again) then I heard the last numbers of my scooter registration plate being called out. My heart leapt and I shouted ‘Evet!’ possibly a little too loudly because the fellow standing next to me jumped back in alarm.
I brought my scooter to the headlight testing machine and after that the blue suited tester had a look at engine and chassis numbers. Horror of horrors the numbers didn’t tally with the documents! My day went downhill as fast as Franz Klammer at this point.

What the F– Hell??? How can this be?

Just a normal occurrence for the guys in blue suits but a very big deal for me. Maybe we tend to inflate the importance of our time but to us time is not something to be wasted. Having to drive to Antalya just to get the details on my vehicle documents changed suddenly grew from a few hours to the proportions of a trip across the Atlantic in a pedalo. I was given a certificate with the details of my failure emblazoned across it and to add insult to injury it also said my headlights were a bit dim. Everyone was looking at me, I know how lepers feel now. I resembled the headlights as I made my sad way home.

Happily the problems were sorted out within a couple of hours. I won’t bore you with the details, this is getting a bit like War and Peace already, but I will/should get new documents next week with any luck.

I should note here that the testing staff are smart, knowledgeable and generally comport themselves in a professional manner. That fact that the whole rigmarole is so time consuming is down to everyone else getting in the way and generally screwing things up. It being a very wet and stormy weekend didn’t help matters either. Tests are not carried out on cars if it is raining, that’s why they were gazing up so much, don’t know why but obviously that is going to cause long delays in winter months. They can do motorcycles and scooters during rain though, and if I had known that I could have returned and gone through all this yesterday but then hindsight is 20.20 isn’t it?

I’ll be glad when the sun comes out again.

Posted January 24, 2009 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Up early today!

Here in Turkey vehicle road tax is paid in two instalments, one in January and one in July. The vehicle road worthiness test can be carried out at any time. My scooter is due to be tested this month and I duly took it along to the testing station this morning.
But to start at the beginning of this little story I have to backtrack a week to when I went to the Tax Office (Maliye) in Kas. I had to get the document certifying that there were no outstanding liabilities on the scooter like unpaid traffic fines, unpaid road tax etc. It takes about a week to complete that here, then you go to the testing station.

Our testing station here is a mobile set-up that only comes here 4 days a month and I had been warned to get there early. So this morning saw me getting up at 5am, giving the animals their breakfast, having my own breakfast and getting dressed up warmly to brave the cold wind and rain that had set in overnight to go the mile or so down to the next village where the mobile testing station would be set up.

When I arrived there was a line of about thirty vehicles, cars, tractors and small pick-ups. A little group of scooters and motorcycles was gathered at the front of the queue so I joined them. By this time it was 6.30 or so. We all stood there getting progressively wetter and colder for two and a half hours before the test personnel arrived and started setting up their equipment. By this time the queue had grown and cars were parked on either side of the road, it was obvious that not all of them would get tested today.

A young man came to the front of the queue and started giving tickets and receipts on payment of 20 Lira and the whole thing started swinging into action, then stopped, because an argument broke out about queue jumping and it was decided that anybody who hadn’t had his vehicle there since last night would have to wait till the others had had theirs tested.

Well I just waited until he came to issue my ticket and he asked me how long I had been there. Of course I told the truth because everyone had seen me arrive this morning. So I was informed that I would have to come back tomorrow. I wasn’t the only one by any means, there were about fifteen men near me who all got told the same thing. But I was the only one laughing about it. Well if you don’t laugh about these things you end up in tears don’t you. Anyway I jumped on my scooter, went to the bakery across the road, got some fresh baked loaves and went home and had some toast and marmalade.

My car is due its test in March and I think I will use the oppportunity to take it to Fethiye where there is an organised system that is open most days of the week. I can then do a bit of shopping in a big town where much more is available.

This evening I will take the scooter to where the queue starts and be in first position for tomorrow morning. I’ll let you know what happens……

Posted January 23, 2009 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized