At Last – We Are Free!!!!!

We both woke up about 430 and were wide awake! Thinking about going out again to get our test results….. It was a beautiful dawn this morning too. It probably always is…. but I don’t generally see it!!!!

We set off about 8am and Alan and Lesley came out to the gate to offer us their phone so we’d have a local one. So kind of them. We were determined to stop and get one today anyway, results or no results, so we just made a note of Lesley’s number in case we needed it for texts.

Called at the Turkiye Bankasi to use the cash point and get some money and then into town. We were at the hospital by 830 and Bob dropped me and went to park. The same guy was on reception and when I told him we had come for our results he said “go to the laboratory” and gestured into the hospital. I waited for Bob and we went in together. Blimey! That was a bit of an eye opener….. We’ve only been inside the private hospitals before whch are frankly oasis of calm. Once the sliding doors opened here we were in a corridor full of people, all talking at high volume and crowding around. It was really disconcerting….. It would have been disconcerting before covid but after a year of lockdown and distancing, it was REALLY disconcerting. I think the corridor had clinics going on – it wasn’t a ward or anything. Anyway, the laboratory was several corridors down off the main one and again there was an ill disciplined queue and shouting….. Eventually we got to the head of it, handed our two little bar coded tickets in, and within 2 minutes we had two result forms, both Negative. They had been unable to text us with the result, probably because it was a UK number and there was some problem with having our results on the web system, but frankly we didn’t want to hang around to hear what it was. We clutched our results and made a hasty retreat back outside to the peace of the entrance lobby. We uploaded them, there and then to the quarantine app and within a minute, it came back and released us.

We knew our nearest location for removing the wristbands was in Karaoglanoglu, about half way back to the villa at a Turkcell shop there. We went in and one of the assistants had been trained in what to do. Unfortunately, they had no means of cutting the straps off – they are really strongly glued – and had to use brute force in the end to get mine off!!! Note to others – take nail scissors. But it was so nice to have them off and to know we could go where we liked. Brilliant!

While he was in there Bob got us a local sim so we can make cheap local and international calls. A big step forward. We made a massive mistake in not getting one on arrival at the airport. It really hampered us this week.

We decided to run some errands while we were out. I needed a passport photo for the residency visa and so we went to Foto Kibris in Alsancak village, near Cenap. What a lovely chap runs it!!! Brilliant photographer too, I had a look at his work on the walls. He took the photos and then we had to have coffee and iced water or tea while they developed. And then he didn’t like them or there was some problem so he took some more and said – come back in an hour.

We had some shopping to do so we went off to the new Ileli Supermarket. Very posh. We have a discount card for there now. They had a huge selection and the same lovely butcher who was in the old Ileli which is nearer to the house. We got a massive amount of shopping for just over £100.

Back to the photographer and got my 8 (!!!!) passport photos and 4 photocopies of passport pages for 50 ytl (about £4.50). They’re great for out here but no good as actual passport photos because I’m smiling!!!! Such a nice man.

As we were coming up the hill to the house, we passed the little Heart Cafe in Yesiltepe where the Mukhtar (mayor) has his “office”. “Go in and see if he’s there” Bob suggested. I went in (nice place) and the lady behind the counter said she would call him and he would come. I tried to explain we’d like to see him later but it got lost in translation, so he was on the way. In somewhat of a hurry, Bob took me back to the house, unpacked the shopping for me to put away, gathered up our Kocan (deeds) and the passports and drove back to the cafe. We need a letter each from the Mukhtar stating that we definitely live in the village. It’s a bit of a funny old faff and he has to put stamps on it for some weird amount like 4 ytl each. It’s not meant to cost anything more than that but it does….. In the end Bob gave him 30 ytl for the two letters including 8 ytl worth of stamps. So that sets us up for beginning the application process. It;s not the first time we’ve had to do it. We had to do it a few years ago to register our deeds at the land office.

It didn’t take Bob long. I had just finished putting the shopping away when he got back and we had lunch on the terrace, feeling well pleased with our mornings “doings”. And very tired……

This afternoon we have filled in our Temporary Residency Visa forms online and submitted them. We’ve got our appointments at the police station in Kyrenia for the 28th May for the same-ish time at 11am. So that didn’t take long – only a week away. We have to take a sheaf of papers there to be checked and if they are all in order, we will get an invitation online to pay for the health insurance and hopefully the visas will be issued. This gives us room to come as often as we like and stay as long as we like. The cost is minimal and well worth it. Before then we have to take a form stating we live together and that Bob is willing to support me (!!!!) to a notary and get it signed there and notarised. Only 1 of us can get a residency visa based on property ownership. Other family members (me) have to apply based on the sponsorship of the property owner, even if – like me – they are co sharers of the title deeds. So we have to get this notarised form of “co-habitation” because we forgot to bring our marriage certificate, otherwise that would suffice to prove our relationship.

Tonight we were invited to dinner at our friends, Pamela and Eddie’s, house in nearby Lapta. They were incredibly brave and built it from the earth upwards and it is absolutely fabulous and stunning. It is wonderful to be able to mix socially again. They have both been double vacc’d too, like many here. Down to the 40 year old now I think.

Fab dinner and so wonderful to see them again after so long – last time was in Patnem just after they got back from a trip to Shimla in February 2020. A great catching up. And a wonderful dinner with some fantastic sausages from a local butcher we will certainly be looking up. Got home just before curfew began at 10pm. Not long till that goes too…..

A wonderful day.