Our time with “our“ kitty is drawing to an end. It’s getting real. Our quest was to pick up our Pakistani Visa. The taksi, as they are called in Turkey, understands where we are going, and the time is the same as on our Google maps we are using in the back seat. We have to watch these drivers, to keep them honest. Most of the time they will go in circles so it can take fifty minutes to get to a 15 minute drive.
We handed our passports to the Pakistan Consulate and because-of bureaucracies, we would have to come back in four hours to pick up our Visa. So, we headed to a French district to kill some time. Turkey and France were having a tiff, so we are not sure if Turkey has closed this district down. One French Hill, near to our hotel is closed, but we are taking a chance. The sun was just now breaking through the grey marine layer, so common this time of the year.
Dogs and cats are very well fed and they get free medical services from the Government. The cats live a good life and play and are very friendly. The dogs are listless and stare off in space or just lay around. Nobody touches them and they don’t seem happy. A hand full of the dogs will share an open space and all are fat. Some remind me of hookers or drug dealers as they own one spot on the corner and never move. Day after day they lay by food and water. It’s very sad to me, as these dogs have never had a home, or have been loved on; though cared for.
The French area was a very popular area with a trolley running down the wide lane, void of traffic. The architecture was impressive with stores on the bottom floor. I got a second pair of pants and a light jacket. Imagine that, I will be seen wearing something different than what I have been wearing. I trade off four different outfits and always wear flip flops. It is amazing how much my clothes weigh. It might be a drawbacks to be tall, in this case.
Back to the Pakistan Consulate, to pick up our Visa. As we drive back, we see a demonstration with police guarding with machine guns and reporters with cameras and microphones. The white coat-clad people turned out to be doctors and nurses protesting not getting paid more for the extra COVID work which has been has bestowed on them. They are on a contract with no overtime. Seven day weeks have been common, and they don’t get to go home to their families.
With our Visa enriched Passports in hand, we have a long drive because President Erdogan was in town snarling up traffic and closing highways. The taksi price was high, but we made it back to our hotel, enjoying our baklava and sandwiches that we picked up on French Street.