Saturday morning

Getting my car tested, Araç Muayene in Turkish.

07.45 Arrive at Erol’s garage where the testers set up their mobile test station. The trailer with the rolling road inside it was left there last night and there are a few cars and people hanging around. A guy that I know says to put my registration number on a piece of paper they have on someone’s windscreen. This is the list for the order we get tested in. It’s a beautiful morning, clear blue sky, slightly crisp and cold. I’m fourteenth on the list. I wander along the road and take a couple of photographs. Some lads with a new motorbike ask me how long it takes and what time they will start testing, I say they will probably start at 9.30, they look disappointed. We pass the time of day, they want to practice their English. They ask me how old I am, how much money I get for my pension and how many children I have.

08.45 The testing trailer unfolds to the warble of a warning siren and flashing red lights. The little crowd steps back and one or two people nod sagely and explain how it all works to their friends and what is going to happen next. Meanwhile the world around carries on, Mustafa’s carpentry workshop next door wanders into life, Omer’s restaurant chimney issue’s smoke in a vertical line indicating that tea will be ready soon and people start passing by going about their daily life.

09.00 Apart from setting up nothing much has happened yet. The air of expectation among the crowd has become more subdued and some people further down the list have retired to their cars to catch up on their sleep while they wait. When dealing with official administrative tasks the average Turk in this area seems to have an infinite capacity for waiting. There are probably people in the cities and towns that are impatient but around my village at least there never seems to be a rush. At traffic lights however the story is completely different. Any gap is used to squeeze to the front and line up four or five abreast.

09.30 The first car gets looked at by the testers. Ten minutes to do the test then wait for the certificate, looks like I’ll be here till lunchtime. I go to my car to catch up on some sleep.

09.50 A guy leans in through the passenger window and asks me what number on the list I am. Fourteen I tell him, his car is parked right behind me. He says no-one told him to put his registration number on the list until just now so he will be here all day. I sympathise but stifle a chuckle. I know I shouldn’t be amused but sometimes you can’t help it, that was me a few years ago. He asks me how old I am, how much money do I get for a pension and how many children I have.

10.35 My documentation is done, I pay the fee and go back to wait in the car. Mustafa from the carpentry workshops stops by to say hello.

Kas area had a new series of registration numbers alloted to it about eighteen months ago. The numbers used to 07 Y **** but now it’s 07 SA* *** so you see some some people driving around with 07 SAD *** or SAG etc. I saw a middle aged woman with a SAG plate a couple of days ago, I don’t think I’d like that much.

11.20 My estimate of getting the car looked at by lunchtime might be a little optimistic, fingers crossed. I wonder how the dogs are doing at home, it’s quite warm in the sun now but they’ve got plenty of water and can get out of the direct sun. A couple of people have dived off to get lunch somewhere and if they’re not back I might be done sooner.

12.40 They didn’t come back in time and I was done sooner, now I have the pass certificate and little pink sticker on my front number plate. Off home for lunch now, thumbs up to the lads with the motor bike, yippeeee!

Posted March 21, 2010 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

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