Monday, 15 March 2010

7th - Night games, part 1

The fish tastes good, even the completely in oil cooked fries are eaten. A delicious salad and we had a dessert from the house. Finally a glass of tea.
Half past nine we return to port. With ease we dodge the potholes, we feel on familiar ground now and we turn in the now open gate and park behind a TIR truck.
One simple gate building, two counters.
The first is for access to the site. 20 TL per person port charges.
In the second a friendly guard who wants to see our papers and sends us ... to?
In front another dark road. In the distance lights and activity. No signs. Two possibilities. We choose the most busy one (for convenience site 1). Driving along a long barrack. Everywhere parked freight and passenger cars. Links two jetties, one with a boat, one without. Only a single uniform. Nobody stops us. We arrive at a crowded parking lot, decide to turn and drive past the barracks again, back into the darkness.
Then to site 2.
It is a lot calmer. Here a boat and a truck that slowly manoeuvres backwards from it. AND a cabin with a nervous, armed policeman. Disturbed in his daily routine he steps out and looks at us with a Louis van Gaal look when we ask if the boat to Cyprus departs from here. With the finger (happy) at the trigger he annoyingly gestures us to site 1. Meanwhile, the reversing truck approached us to within two feet away which leads to the dilemma, either let the police officer politely finish his nervous gestural behaviour, either accelerating and thus, at least, reducing paint damage, but put the fragile friendly relationship between the policeman and us to the ultimate test. Adventure calls and M accelerates, drives around the truck, thereby creating a buffer. In the mirror we see the agent walking back to his cubicle.
So site 1 it is.
We park the car at something that looks like a row of parked cars. Here no agents with or without weapons. Many men, many windows, two large waiting rooms (with passport control booths that one recognises from airports). Outside everyone busy doing nothing, the halls are empty, here and there only a single window lighted.
The first boat is still there, even there nothing happens. At the second pier one looks into the darkness. It is now half past ten. A ship approaches in the distance. We look for a counter with .... with what actually? Customs? Ticket control? Everyone knows a different answer to that we ask. Helpfulness all over the place.
How it exactly has gone we dont know anymore. Only afterwards there is a suspicion of a probable sequence of events. Pen and paper ready?

Counter 1, the furthest away in the barracks.
Control port charges and car paper check. Note in the computer.
Later we have to go to counter three.
Meanwhile the ship docks. Itis the Calypso, the ship that according to schedule must have left Cyprus at midday for a journey of 5 hours!?
We sit on a bench in front of the barracks. A man in orange overalls yells the trucks backwards off the boat, gesturing others to circle the parking lot, does a lot to prevent car damage and is visibly enjoying his role. Everyone is now busy with papers and stamps. Counters are opened, we are in line at counter 3, "Did you arrive in Turkey?" "No, we want to go to Cyprus" "Come on back in one hour'.
Then hall 2 opens and the passport control booths are filled. People bound for Cyprus queue there. Imagine a country without stamps.

No comments:

Post a comment