We were grateful to have a room to sleep that night, but I was worried that it was not affordable to stay in this hotel. What if we had to stay a week or more?
The next day we moved to another hotel. It was cheaper but by no means comfortable. The hotel room had dilapidated beds with old shiny fake satin bedspreads, white linen with multicolored stains and blankets so coarse that it was impossible to cover one with it. The central heating was working though and if it was not for that we could have frozen to death.
The next morning we went back to our first hotel, We determined that we can stay there if we can find a house within five days. I asked dr. Arseven and his partners to help us search for a rental apartment. The incident with the apartment in Batikent was still fresh in his memory. We have not met personally yet, and we had already shamed him by not paying the deposit and rent for the apartment in Batikent. In a honor and shame culture, this was not a good start!
We went back to Batikent and started to search there for a new apartment. The places we saw were literally bringing Magda to tears. In most cases the public staircases leading to the apartments where not clean and not conducive for small children to use. Electrical wires were hanging from the walls onto the staircases. Inside the apartments the bathrooms and kitchen areas were half finished or just filthy.
We realized that our lack of language and cultural understanding was limiting us to find anything better by ourselves. We had no support structure other than dr. Arseven and his partners to help us to navigate through this difficult time. Our best bet was to see what dr. Arseven and his partners can find on our behalf.
We learned that there was another South African family living in Ankara. We got directions to the place where the International Protestant Church of Ankara was meeting and we were looking forward to meet with our new faith community that Sunday.
Towards the end of the week, dr. Arseven called. They found a two bedroom apartment in the center of Ankara. We got the address and went to see the place. It was very central, on the twelfth floor of the thirteen floor building. There was an elevator that worked most of the time. It was small but we were willing to make it our home. This time there was no problem with the payment of the deposit and rent!
The business man who arranged the storage space for our furniture helped us to find a moving company to move our furniture to our new address in Kizilay, Ankara. Within a week after our arrival, we moved into our new home!