Kathy Martin’s life story (23)
By Kathy Martin…
My life story continues with our life in Cyprus
Written May 2009
What else to we “do?” During the winter The China Garden have been hosting a monthly fun “pub quiz” night. We (with friends Rod & Carole Lloyd and/or Graham & Mary Deacon) come 2nd, 1st, 3rd, and frequently (but never lower than) 4th place! They have been very enjoyable evenings, winning money helps of course, but even losing is fun!
Usually there are 8 to 10 teams occupied. Most of the gaps in our knowledge are because we no longer know who stars/plays as the character of Mr or Mrs X in Coronation Street (or similar). Still they are fun evenings, even if we don’t win a bottle of wine or a meal!
This year is time for our car’s three-yearly MOT in June. We will hand over our car to Sadık, from whom we bought the car, and who has serviced it on a regular basis over the last three years, so we hope that there will not be too great an expense!
Alistair wrote the following in July 2009
Quirks and Quiddities
Our car is having its MOT renewed this year. MOTs last 3 years here. We have already been given the emissions certificate, which shows various gases in parts per million, all perfectly legal. However, our car has not been near a test centre this year!
Kibtek (the monopoly electricity supplier) owes various local and worldwide companies TL170million. However, it is owed TL230million by local organisations. Kibtek “named and shamed” them in the press. Apart from various 5* hotels and construction companies owing around 500,000 each, various belediye (local government/municipalities/councils) owe in total around TL200million!
The Lefkoşa (capital city!) mayor protested that the money was not owed. Not that it was never owed, but that he had gone to the previous government (there has been a recent election and ruling party change) to ask for the Lefkoşa debt to be written off as there was no way that the Belediye could operate under such conditions! Although he was apparently promised that it would be, the motion didn’t go before parliament before the election and the present government is refusing to accept the “decision”.
We, who pay our TL50-60 bill each month, well within the 30-day period (knowing that if we don’t we’ll be cut off) wait for the outcome with bated breath!
This debt situation is now about TL300K owed by Kibtek and TL500K owed to Kibtek!
Talking of Kibtek, there is only one military air force airport on the island. As Kibris does not have it’s own air force, it is only used by the Turkish air force on rare occasions, especially 20th July, “Republic Day” when the equivalent of the RAF “Red Arrows” do fly-pasts and aerobatic displays.
However, during the past 6 months Kibtek (with the then government approval) erected a new power line, which entails three pylons at the end of the runway! Now the airport cannot be used until November at the earliest, and to re-site the power lines and pylons will cost TL10 million! (approx £4 million) Although, the runway is not in constant use, the air force maintains presence there (as does the army) and as one of our friends said, “what were they doing, just watching the base become inoperative?” The present government is considering legal action against the previous government and Kibtek!
We went to the cinema recently to see Dan Brown’s “Angels and Demons.” The cinema was fairly small, seating approx 200. However 198 seats weren’t needed as we were the only customers! We saw some local adverts for universities, soymilk etc, and then the film. Halfway through, it stopped, the lights came on and the doors opened. We went to the loo, returned to our seats and then the doors closed, the lights went out and the film resumed! We have never before had such a “personal” screening!
We are still enjoying our Turkish lessons each Thursday morning and slowly (yavaş, yavaş) learning how to get by in things, like giving taxi drivers information as to how to find our flat, etc.
We have to renew our residency permit each year and every year the information required changes slightly! One nice little thing that happened this year was that when we arrived at 08:00 and got our number (22) we resigned ourselves for a long wait, however, at that moment, numbers 8-12 were called and the recipients had obviously decided not to wait, whilst the numbers were being called a young Turkish woman gave Kathy her number (13) and took ours, consequently we were the next to be seen!
When we came out about 3-4 minutes later, Kathy thanked her profusely (in Turkish)! She smiled and said “Rica Ederim” (It is my pleasure) and they exchanged kisses on each cheek! Some of the ex-pats here take great pleasure in saying “The Bl**** Turks”, however, we have yet to meet one! The mirror can only reflect what it sees, to quote another Turkish friend of ours!
Written end July 2009
We have now been in our flat for one year, we did our final move (furniture, washing machine etc) on 25th July 2008.
The advantages we have gained are:
- Our monthly “rent” has decreased from £300.00 to £40.00! (2016 still £40.00!)
Although the “income” from our savings has decreased from 18% to 10% (the banks blame the recession!), we have still been able to maintain a fairly luxurious lifestyle.
- Access to a communal swimming pool at our flat.
This is very welcome at this time of year!
Our village, Doğanköy, has a small “Ex-pat” community and so maintains it’s “Turkishness”. The Muhtar (mayor) is very pro-active in all aspects of village life, especially creating situations and events that bring the Turkish and ex-pat communities together.
When we first moved into the village we helped other ex-pats give English lessons to the local Turkish children, these were great fun! Especially when the boys (about 10-ish) would show one of us a picture of a “peach” and then dissolve into paroxysms of laughter when we said it! This word in Turkish, “piç” means “bastard”! In our innocence we would have no idea why this fruit could cause such hilarity!