Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Testing the Postal Service (and the Muhtar)

I have mentioned before that the postal service in Turkey is quite unpredictable.  In some of the areas where I've previously lived, I hardly received anything that had been posted to me from England.  So I just asked people not to bother to send post to me.

It should take about a week for something to reach here from the UK, but I've sometimes waited weeks or months for a delivery.  Some years ago I received a christmas card in February, from a friend in England, who had posted it at the beginning of December, clearly addressed.   The envelope had stuff written all over it, and it appeared to have gone via Malaysia for some unknown reason!

When we moved to the village last year, I discovered that the delivery of post was very erratic.  A van from Milas would come to the village with post, only when he had enough of it to justify the trip.  So I decided to take a postbox at the main post office in Milas, and so far this has worked very well.  In fact the postmaster there has got to know me quite well, and if I receive parcels, instead of him putting a slip of paper in my box for me to collect from one of the counters in the main building, he just hangs on to them for me in his desk, and I just pop my head round the door and ask if there's anything for me.

When I was in England last month, there was some post for me at my brother's address.  Some of it was in my former name, and none of it was of great importance or urgent.   But it was correspondence that I wished to continue receiving.  So I decided to test the postal service.  I sent my new address to the people concerned, without changing my name.   I not only put the name of the village in the address, but also the post office box number too.  Haha I thought...that'll confuse them!   No-one in this village has a house number.  Any post will just be addressed to the name of the person and the name of the village.  And that's it.  The postman from Milas will bring the post and dump it in the teahouse in the village, and the villagers will collect it from there.

Well I am delighted to say that it has worked.   Last night, the deaf guy from up the lane, who was so kind to the dogs whilst I was in England, turned up at my gate with an envelope.   It was addressed to me in my old name, with the name of the village and the postbox number.  He asked if this was me?  And I replied that it was.   Of course it wasn't too difficult for anyone to realise that this was my post.  After all it had an English postmark, and I am the only English person living here.  But a least he had taken the trouble to find out.  And...bless his heart...he has promised to look out for any further post for me and to deliver it to me in future.

And...testing the Muhtar (the head of the village)?  I went into his office this morning to pay our water bill.  You may recall that it took us months to get a rubbish bin outside our house.  They are supposed to collect the rubbish every week, but it's not happening.  I am supposed to pay 3 lira extra on top of my water bill for this service.   So I handed over the money...less 3 lira.  He asked for the rubbish money, and I said he could have it when the rubbish had been hasn't been collected since I returned from England.

He jumped up from his desk...called out of the door of his office to the man with the tractor who normally collects the rubbish....and told him the rubbish must be collected today...and has assured me that it will.  We'll see...


  1. Aw that is a nice post! And as for the deaf man from up the lane? God bless him.

    I love all your posts Ayak, and this one was no exception. Reading about your life in Turkey is so amusing.

    By the way, how is Billy? xxx

  2. You are determined to keep them all on their toes then Ayak! Good on the deaf man though he sounds a really nice thoughtful guy xx

  3. Mel...Thankyou very much...lovely compliment. Billy is doing feally well Mel...thanks for asking xxx

    Bomb: I just decided that rather than let Mr Ayak deal with these things, as he usually does, it's about time I sorted things myself. The deaf guy is really lovely. Well my dogs love he must be!

    Fly: Yes really amazing as it's such a small amount but it's the principal that's at stake here...on both sides.

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  5. I've never tried the postal service in Turkey yet. I'm lucky that at the end of my road there are bins that belong to the hotel, I put my rubbish in there and they get collected a few times per day !

  6. It's the little things people do occasionally that wipe out the frustration of living in Turkey for me. Great little story :)

  7. auntiegwen: Yes I've been used to rubbish being collected at least once a day in all other area, so it's taking a bit of getting used to here. The temperature is rising, and I'm afraid the rubbish is going to get very smelly if left too long...eeeuw!

    Hi Lale: I agree...the little things people do just make living here a joy at times.
    Thanks xxx

  8. It sounds like a lovely community you live in - very old world. I find it charming. I love your blog!

  9. Hi Ayak. I thought I'd pop in to visit as your tag game has made it to me via Cross the Pond! I must admit that I'm looking forward to answering the questions. Nice to find you. Turkey is on my list of countries to visit...I will make it one day!

  10. 'Cross the Pond...thankyou xxx

    Kerry: Welcome! This tag has been a good way of finding other blogs hasn't it? Now I've discovered yours as well xx

  11. The post can be a problem, even here. Yesterday we received a letter which had been posted from the bank in the UK in the middle of April! UK government mail has to go via Gibraltar or Malta or somewhere and so takes a long time too.

  12. Jan: I don't know if you find that it's unpredictable at times? Some things which you think would take much longer actually arrive within days...and other post disappears altogether.


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