It was our first trip as a family with a train in a long time. The cabin was comfortable and the children were enjoying the experience. Magda and I was distracted. All that we could think of was the next morning. What are we going to do with our furniture? Where are we going to find a home? I realized that Carewell had not yet paid our stipend for the next month. After paying for the train tickets I had only TL 5,000,000 (ZAR 25-00) in my wallet!
We arrived early the next morning at the main station in Ankara. We summoned a taxi and gave the driver the address in Batikent. As we approached the apartment building, the truck with our furniture was pulling in from the opposite direction. After paying the taxi driver TL 4,000,000 (ZAR 20-00) we got out.
We did not know what to do. It was early morning and people were walking towards their vehicles and the bus stops to get to work. They were not paying much attention to us. The driver of the truck came to me and asked where they should take the furniture. My Turkish vocabulary was too limited to explain the situation to him. I made a call to dr Arseven and asked him to explain the situation to the driver.
While they were talking on my cellular phone, a well dressed middle aged man approached us. He spoke good English and asked if we had a problem. I told him that we cannot access the apartment we wanted to rent and that we are now looking for a new place. We need storage place for our furniture. He was very sympathetic and explained that the local school was closed for a short winter break. He has the keys to a building usually used as library and after school center. We can store our furniture there for a week. At no charge!
With that sorted I had to think of the next step. We needrd a place to stay and then I have to solve the problem of the delay in the transfer of money from Carewell. One of the laborers that came with the moving truck to Ankara spoke a little bit of English. He explained that he has family in Ankara and will go with us to find a hotel for the night. We all got into a taxi. I knew the fee to the city center will exceed TL 4,000,000 and I had only TL1,000,000 left. Until today we don’t know what our new friend told the taxi driver, but when we arrived in the city center the taxi driver accepted the TL1,000,000!
We found a very cheap hotel for the night, with the help of our new friend. I had money on an over-drafted credit card to pay for the hotel. That afternoon I sat on a marble staircase on the square in Ulus, Ankara to make the call to Carewell. This time the call went through. Apparently there was a huge storm and the under-water internet cables between Europe and Africa were damaged making it impossible to transfer money for almost 7 days!
The next morning we received a notification that our monthly stipend, and money for the deposit and rent of an apartment, was deposited in our account.