So, you may be asking. Where have all the blog posts gone? Where has Wendi gone?
Wendi, went to Cyprus!
Cyprus is an island off the south-central coast of Turkey. The northern half of the island belongs to Turkey. The southern part of the island belongs to Greece. If you are a fan of My Big Fat Greek Wedding you may recall the Grandmother being paranoid about the “Turks.” We came to an education (via our cab driver on the ride into our resort) that this is for good reason. A war in 1974 separated the two sections of the island and Greeks are no longer allowed north; Turks are no longer allowed south. In fact, when we made it through customs, they encouraged us to get a stamp on a piece of paper that we could slide into our passport when we so desired. If we had a stamp permanently in our passport, the Greeks would not let us visit their side. We must fly into their airport to be welcome there! And the Turks are not welcome there at all unless they fly in through their airport.
Aaaaah … Customs. Let me begin our trip there.
We decided many months ago to get away, just us gals. Linda, Stebbs, Angelica and myself. We found a cheap flight to Cyprus (under $100) and a resort that included breakfast and dinner for a very reasonable fare. We were so excited for an opportunity to just rest and relax us girls.
So needless to say, we became quite flustered when it appeared our trip may not happen before it even began. Thirty minutes before our flight was to depart the Adana airport on Friday afternoon, the Customs officials informed us that while Linda could go through (she is military and had orders) and Angelica could go through (she had brought her “residency permit” papers), Stebbs and I could not go. We had only brought our passport.
I won’t get into all the details, but suffice it to say, I will now travel with my regular passport, my no-fee passport, and my residency pass AT ALL TIMES! All the confusion stemmed from the fact that when Stebbs and I moved to Turkey back in July, we came in on a military plane. The Customs officials in the airport in Adana stamped our no-fee passport but not our regular passport. (I am still not sure why we have two of these.) This meant that when I showed my regular passport to the Customs officials to leave on Friday, I did not have proof that I actually belonged in Turkey in the first place. And I guess you can't leave if you shouldn't be there in the first place.
Angelica and Linda, already through the gate, began feverishly calling our husbands to fax over paperwork, only to be told that the fax machine at the airport was broken. In the end, moments before the plane was to take off, the Customs officials decided to manually look us up in the computer. They discovered we were in fact residents of Turkey and permitted us to pass. But not without much sweating on the part of Stebbs and myself. Travel “snafus” are not my strong point. My well-learned Turkish went out the window when I attempted to communicate with the guards in the heat of the moment. I can get very stressed when things don't go according to plan (although I was pleased to see that anxiety which would normally overrun me, stayed at a very comfortable level.) Alas, they were very kind and very helpful and ultimately figured out a little “loop hole” to get us on our way to Cyprus.
The flight was only about 40 minutes. Here is a quick photo of our group before all of our Customs problem began: