If you want to improve your Turkish I hope you don’t have to go through what I did. If you haven’t been following my saga on how I managed, click on the link to read Part One.
Just to be sure I waited dört (4) rather than üç (3) business days before I texted the bank (again) for a şifre for my university entry and dining hall card. Each day I tried it was no go. Still lacking a pin number with which to load money on my card, I took my lunch to work every day and sat alone while my colleagues went off to the yemekhane to enjoy a three course meal for only a few lira. Six business days after signing the second contract with the bank, having shown them my pasaport and yet another futile phone call to the central office at merkezi, I went to the local şubesi (again). At least now I knew where it was the walk wasn’t as long and tiring as the first time. Once there I was told I should be able to get a pin number because all my documents had been received by the other branch (a long hot walk down a hill, round a corner and so on). I told her (again) that I still couldn’t get a pin number because the bank needed to güncellenecek my phone number, although I still failed to understand how they could update information they didn’t have.
We both bit our lips and issued our individual language versions of the sound ‘hmmm’ while the teller fiddled with the computer keys. Suddenly she said “Oh, they haven’t recorded your phone number”, and asked me for it. Then she did some more mysterious things with the computer and printed out a form for me to sign. When I looked at it I saw it simply asked if I was me, myself, and if the phone number that I’d just told her was mine, was actually mine. I thought it was interesting that they needed my passport to allow her to ask me these questions, given my passport doesn’t include my phone number. This being Turkey however, there is bound to be some logic in there, somewhere. I hope. After I checked the number was correct and signed where directed, she scanned the sheet, sent an email somewhere and then went out the back to consult with the manager. I watched anxiously through the frosted glass as they talked but she quickly came back out and told me to send the text requesting a pin number one more time (tekrar).
I did so and quickly received a mesaj, a different one this time. At this point my Turkish failed me and I couldn’t understand it. I held out my phone to her and she quickly read it before telling me I was all set. “Gerçekten mi?” I asked. Could I really put money on my card now and go and eat at the personnel dining hall? Kesinlikle, she replied, I could even go outside right away and use the ATM to yaıtırmak some money but I declined. Even though she was absolutely certain it work, I felt it was too much to expect I could get my pin number AND deposit some money in the account on the same day!
Finally getting my pin number left me unsure as to whether I should laugh or cry so I just slunk out of the branch, slightly stunned. I had really thought I would have to resort to bringing lunch from home everyday for the next semester or two, while I waited for the problem to be sorted out.
Now, I wonder if I can sort out the problem I’m having with my cable television company
If you’re looking for an easier way to learn Turkish I recommend you start with Lonely Planet Turkish Phrasebook & Dictionary. For those of you who are really serious about improving, I find Turkish Grammar by Geoffrey Lewis hard but useful