The coffee’s magic is starting to permeate at cellular level. I just went through re-checking one more time my papers for the residence permit application, my appointment is tomorrow, in Pendik, which is almost out of Istanbul, it will take about two hours to get there, one hour alone sitting on the metro from Kadikoy all the way to the Pendik.

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This will be a significant moment. If it is a ‘no’, I’ll have ten days to leave Turkey. The residence permit process was yet again changed last May and I heard that there are thousands upon thousands of applications awaiting response. Rumors are going wild, like 30 thousand plus applications coming every week and piling up in a room as there are not enough people to handle the inflow. People are waiting 3 to 5 months for an appointment, people stuck in limbo as they are not getting their responses and then are not able to leave the country, lest they pay an “overstay” fee and find themselves in an illegal situation.

Surprisingly, and against all expectations, I got my appointment immediately after putting in my online application and got it in a reasonable time (10 days).  Pendik, the rumor is,  is the only office that still more or less functions properly. Westerners dealing with Turkish bureaucracy always get really nervous and upset because here it operates on a different paradigm. In Canada or Germany for example, if you did not provide the exact, required, expected data, papers, at best you get back to the back of the line, at worst, you missed your chance and it’s over. Here, there is dither, leeway, detours and a kind of ‘cross your fingers, Inshallah, give it a moment’ kind of thing that means that if, for example, you are missing a document, you can come back with it later, and if you have discrepancies on your paperwork, you can just explain it, and who you talk to has a huge influence on the outcome of your query.

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So tomorrow is a bit of a fateful day. I will go, give my papers, talk to someone and then go back home wondering what will happen, and when.  In the past I have waited for 3 months for an answer, so if it is a ‘no’, and I wait two, three months to learn about it, it gives me two, three more months to spend in my beautiful flat. If I am denied the permit, the question will be: where do I go for 3 months? I do have a few Workaway host requests in Denmark, Ireland, France. So there are options.  I am ready for anything, but  I really wish to stay put a little while longer in Galata, it seems I am just starting to really settling, to relax more deeply into a non-nomadic reality.

One of the question marks with this application, is the financial picture, in the past I would move a bunch of money from the line of credit, take a screen shot and there would be the $5000 annual  financial requirement to stay, then I would move it back whence it came. This year I cannot do this as I don’t have a line of credit anymore, so it’s up to the person I will talk to.  The last time I applied they didn’t even look at the banking papers, so we will see this time

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So lets see what happens. In the mean time, every day I still am in awe with my surroundings, Galata tower, in all its beauty, the Bosphorus, the poetry of this place that is everywhere, the cats, the old buildings, the faces, and the light… I am living in a fairy tale decor. I draw every day, I am working with the art course tutor on some basic skills right now, like hatching… I am putting thousands of lines on paper, I am going through the steps a beginning art student would go through and I can see the value of that. My first pages of hatching look freaked out, I was panicking at “how am I going to fill this page? (A2 size) I was freaking out at the ugliness of what I was doing. Ugliness freaks me out… then it started to show, the lines straightened and the mind became quiet and it started to have unity. Not quite beauty yet but getting there. The pleasure of seeing the extra crisp and straight lines appearing from my hand and onto the page is very rewarding.

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Last week I met with a friend from Canada. He is Turkish but has been living in Canada for 35 years. It was a very interesting connection, like me he is between two worlds, feeling a stranger in both, yet enjoying both also. He helped me decipher the internet provider’s packages, and on that note, I still don’t have internet at home, he also gave me some plates and utensils, I have to say, I had been eating in plastic yogurt containers and the plate felt gloriously good! Our conversations felt so good to me, that is when I realize how a person’s culture is so deeply ingrained, there are so many points of agreement in reality, it makes communication flow much easily even if you don’t know each other so well. Plus of course, the common language, I still struggle a lot with Turkish, I am improving but to speak my mind clearly and express myself in this language is not quite available to me yet.

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Well, I must go… gotta get a few more photocopies for tomorrow’s appointment. If I have the gumption, I will go to the Fatih pazar to buy fresh food. And… I will draw some more.

Much love.

w-lemur

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Images of the days

October 8, 2018

 

Istanbul, light, wind, clouds, emotions.  The water heals me.  I escape on the boat.  I feel alive.  I breathe.  Without this window on the sea, this place would be impossible to live in. a01

Birds always.  they fly and I watch them wishing to fly with them.  I look how they look around, how they glide on the air effortlessly.  They make me feel free.

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the sun’s brilliance married to the reflective water, such perfection, it is sweet and powerful at once.a16

Approaching the European side, as the sun sets.  Every time it is unbelievably gorgeous, breath taking. a20a22a33

the brilliance always mixed with the rough the aggressive, the dirty.  All extremes side by side, being one. a36

end of the world skies, every day. a37

Camondo steps, legacy of a wealthy family that disappeared during WW2a40a42

I have been drawing, I feel a huge need to express the feminine without it’s trappings. girl on a ball

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This is Marion, I girl I know, activist for animal rights who does something.  She came to me, her spirit did, and I drew this.

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Galata in the morning

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a brave kedi who will fight a huge tom cat a few moments after this picture

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and me… a55nightcatscottscat