Thursday, May 15, 2008

My first fight in Turkish

The next day I enjoyed a shower in a shower with an actual bathtub (in my house you shower onto the floor), and then we had a lovely breakfast in the garden. Afterwards we took the dolmuş back to Denizli. The first thing to do was to attempt to cancel our train tickets and get bus tickets instead.

So we went to the ticket office in the train station. We went to the woman and explained that we wanted to cancel our tickets. It said on the back of the ticket that with last than 24 hours notice we would be penalized 20% of the fare, but would get the rest back. We gave her our tickets, and my card. But she wanted a recipt. I said I didn't have one, but I had the tickets and the card and your trains are always 4 hours late but you haven't changed the schedule and you need to give us our money back. After calling in her supervisor, she said if I got a copy of my passport she would give us the money back.

So we walked accross the street to the bus station, where we bought tickets back to Istanbul, and, after asking them for a camera, which Cat corrected by asking for a photocopy machine, I got a photocopy of my passport. Back at the train station the woman got out a binder, wrote this long thing on the back of my passport photocopy, and then tried to run my card. After one try, she decided it didn't work because it was only a bank card, not an actual turkish credit card with a chip in it. To fully explain herself she got out her credit card with chip to show us. We explained that we had bought the tickets with my card, and if their machine wouldn't put the money back on it it was their fault. She said it was too bad. No she could not give us cash.

By this point we were really mad. We went outside the office, and then went back in to ask her if she could put the money on her card because she had one and give us cash. No she said, that is forbidden. But if we found someone else with a card she could put it on their card and they could give us cash. So we walked out and started to ask. At the station cafe they sent us accross the street to a bakkal. At the bakkal they gave us a funny look and sent us to a lokanta. At the lokanta we got a funnier look and they sent us to another lokanta. At this lokanta the guy actually understood what we wanted, and took out his wallet to show us that his card was the same as mine, without chip. After asking one more time we realized that this was not Istanbul, most people didn't have credit cards, and if they did they were not going to give them to a couple of foreign girls. We went back, determined to occupy her office until she gave us the money. We called some people to get advice and went back in

To find that the shift had changed. We gave the tickets, my card, and the passport copy with letter to the new guy behind the counter. He tried to run my card, it wouldn't work. He called in his new supervisor, who ran Cat's american credit card through until it worked. Easy. No problem. It was possible all the time.

After winning our fight, we felt tired but victorious. And we had the problem of what to do with 10 hours in Denizli. Conclusion - there is nothing in Denizli. We at some doner, walked around with all our stuff, wasted an hour and a half in the internet cafe, sat for two hours in a pastane after eating not so good profiterol, found the cool market area after it was entirely closed, and then finally walked to the place with the famous Denizli roosters. When we got there there was only a statue of a rooster and it was pouring. We ate some food, sat in the place as long as possible, and then returned to the bus station for our overnight bus.

Arriving in the morning, I changed in the teacher's bathroom, ready to start my monday morning after not sleeping on the bus.