Thursday, 8 March 2012

From dolmuş drivers to post office workers

Yes, I'm still singing the praises of our dolmuş drivers.

Mr A, as you know, is in Kusadasi.  He has a friend with a motorbike there who needs to charge his battery.  Mr A has a motorbike battery charger in his shed...here.

No problem.  I had to go into Milas this morning, so I took the battery charger in a plastic bag and under instructions from Mr A, as soon as I got onto the dolmuş I rang him and handed the phone over to the driver.   Conversation finished, I then handed the bag to the driver.

When the driver gets to the bus station, he will hand the bag to the Soke bus driver.  When the bus reaches Soke, the Soke driver will hand it to the driver of the bus going to Kusadasi, where Mr A will collect it.

If you've lived in Turkey for a while you will recognise that this is a very common occurrence.  Drivers will take things from one town to another for you at no charge at all.  So within a couple of hours, Mr A will be able to lend the charger to his friend.  

And while I'm at it, I'd like to also praise post office workers, and in particular those in the sorting office in Milas.

Last year I had a friend in England who would occasionally send me a parcel of chocolate.  Some parcels are too big to fit in the small postboxes, so you have to collect them from the office. The first time I received a parcel I collected it from the office, and told the man in charge that I would receive more from time to time.  From then on he always recognised me and knew my name. I mentioned one day that the parcels contained chocolate, so he made sure that he always put them in a cool place awaiting my collection, particularly in the middle of summer.   As a thankyou I would open my parcel before leaving the office and give him some of my chocolate.

I have a new reciprocal arrangement with a friend in London who sends me filter coffee and I send her spices and herb teas.   The post from England to Milas normally takes a week.  A month or so ago my parcel was delayed.  It was just over two weeks before I found it at the post office.  There is a new man in charge of the sorting office now, and it transpired that a slip of paper should have been put in my postbox to inform me that my parcel was waiting in the sorting office.  It didn't happen on that occasion but the man located my parcel and was full of apologies for the oversight.

A new parcel was posted on the Monday of last week.  I was in Milas anyway this Monday so checked in the sorting office, in the hope that it had arrived.   As soon as I entered the office, the man immediately addressed me by my name (what a memory, after one meeting over a month ago!) and told me there were no parcels for me.  I wasn't too concerned because post can be delayed at times.

So while I was in Milas today I was certain my parcel would have arrived by now, and again when I entered the office, the man greeted me by name and informed me that there was still no sign of my parcel.  He started to tell me something but he was speaking very quickly and I didn't entirely understand what he was saying.  I asked if he minded if I rang my husband to talk to him, and not only was he happy to wait for me to do this, but he offered me a chair and got someone to bring me tea.

After a conversation with Mr A over the phone, Mr A told me that the man would look out for my parcel, phone Mr A when it had arrived and also arrange for it to be delivered to our village, and that he would let him know when this would happen.  So I thanked the man and with a smile on his face he told me he was happy to help.

Haven't I always said how helpful people are in this country?  Sometimes it's all too easy to take it for granted, and writing this post is my way of making sure that I don't.

You may be interested in a post by Annie at Back to Bodrum blog, if you haven't already seen it.   Another lovely story about dolmuş drivers.  You can read it HERE

16 comments:

  1. your stories of this sort of thing always make me feel happy, that there is some good left in an otherwise selfish world x

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    1. Kv: Yes they make me very happy to be living here.

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  2. ......the more I read your posts the less doubts I have about moving to Turkey for half of the year. It's good to know there are still some people willing to help their community.
    Thats good now maybe your parcels won't be doing a round-about but get to the right parcel office, especially with them remembering your name.
    When my husband sends something by DHL to Izmir a few times it went all over the USA to 3 or 4 major cities before it hit Izmir....by express from Canada. Why I haven't got a clue....Well my husband did no get annoyed because they always reimburse the money for their mistakes which is fine for him. A hundred bucks is a hundred bucks.

    ....have a nice day......yesterday it was like spring here, today windy, cold and wet. :-(

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    1. Erica I'm sure you would love living here. Having a Turkish husband is half the battle. It really helps when it comes to you integrating.
      It's a Spring day here today too...hope it lasts!

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  3. Hi Ayak...My husband finally wrote about his adventures in Canada. Where do you want him to send it in the next few days?
    Do u have an email?

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    1. That's great Erica. You'll find my email on my Profile page. I'll look forward to receiving it and adding it to my blog as a guest post xx

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  4. it's what makes living in a smaller village so wonderful...people remember you, your name, where you live, who you're married to, who you're kin to...I'm just wonderfully blown away by all the kindness of the dolmus drivers and the post office workers!

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    1. Theanne it really cheers me up at times x

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  5. You keep providing evidence of the beautiful things that exist in this world...delightful and lovely. J.

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    1. Janice. I can often find myself being a bit miserable and negative about life, but these lovely gestures from people help me to stay positive x

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  6. Really makes you happy, this sort of thing!

    Friends returned from a trip to the Caribbean side of the country, got off the bus in the local town and a taxi driver dropping a fare asked if they were our friends and did they need a taxi to get home!
    Talk about the grapevine!
    It turns out he was Jorge who lives at the entrance to the three valleys so he knew we had guests and added two and two seeing two unfamiliar faces at the bus station.

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    1. Fly that's lovely isn't it? I love it when things like this happen. I bet your friends were impressed.

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  7. We also have a very helpful post office man here in Selcuk. We have never had a note in our postbox when he has tried to deliver when we've been out. Instead, he looks out for us in town and ensures that we get our parcels. Even if this happens out of working hours when the office is officially shut.

    We've found people here to be genuinely helpful and Selcuk, whilst not a huge place, is hardly a village.

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    1. What a helpful postman omentide. I must admit I always found people very helpful when we lived in Selçuk.

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  8. Ayak,today's post makes me realise that this wouldn't happen in the UK, however helpful individuals can be and are. You need a society with helpfulness in its bones for such things to be able to be taken almost for granted. A lovely story to start my day. :-)

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    1. You're right Perpetua. I think this kind of behaviour has to be part of the people. I know there are helpful people in the UK, but in my experience its certainly not the norm.

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