Paying the rent and the Foreigner Tax
Today I finally paid my March rent. It was due on the 15th, but when I tried to pay it the first time I was refused, after about 20 minutes of insisting that I have been paying this same bill since September, because I don’t have a kimlik (national identity card).
After talking to lots of Turks, somebody suggested that I might be able to pay it with a tax card – I do have one of those, from way back when I registered my car. I finally dug it out this morning and, armed with all of my identifications, went back to a different branch of the bank.
At Bank Asya, my landlord’s choice, you simply push a button indicating what kind of customer you are and want service you want, and then you wait. I just emailed my landlord to see of she has an account anywhere else, because unfortunately I always have to wait a very long time.
I’m obviously a yabanci (foreigner) with both hair and skin too light to ever be mistaken for a Turk. At this branch, there were two tellers offering counter service, both busy with customers when I drew my number. One finished then directly looked at me as the next customer waiting and busied himself with paperwork. I guess he didn’t want to have to try and speak another language. Another Turk arrived and, immediately apprising the situation, marched directly to the paperwork guy and completed his transaction in about two minutes. More customers showed up, drew numbers, and joined me in staring at Mr. Paperwork in disbelief. Finally the other teller finished and called my number. Almost immediately, the other guy continued on with work by calling the next number – thanks a lot, random Bank Teller Man.
I managed to go through the various presentations of identity and cash handover in about 5 minutes and all in Turkish. Meanwhile, Mr. I Can’t Be Bothered To Help a Foreigner was receiving a royal smack down from a little old covered lady for his attitude – karma is a bitch, man.