we’re never leaving turkey

we woke up early today to once again try to deal w/ the syrian visa issue. ugh! we called the Us embassy and were told that we could get the letter of recommendation from them if we came by. we were worried we wouldnt have enough time, so instead of taking a bus, we got a cab. well, it turns out that the american embassy is HELLA far. we drove forever and ever. and then we still kept driving for days. and there was hella traffic. finally we got there, grabbed the letters, and cabbed it back. halfway to the syrian embassy, i all of a sudden realized that in my tired haze that morning, i forgot my money belt (w/ passport) in the hotel. DAMN!!! so now instead of going straight to the embassy, we had to stop by the hotel. we were really pressed for time, and caryn was sure that there was no way we’d make it to the embassy by 11:30 when it closed… but i decided to try anyways.

we got to the hotel, and to save time, caryn hit the atm, while i ran to our room to get my passport. but caryn had the room key!! so i had to find the maid, and have her cal the front desk, and then let me in the room. i finally got my passport, and sprinted to go meet caryn (after running up and down 5 flights of stairs). we hopped in another cab, and slowly (damn traffic) made our way to the syrian embassy. it was gonna be really close. finally we got there and ran up the stairs arriving out of breath at the door at 11:35. turns out we had remembered the time wrong. it closes at 11am. crap! all of that for nothing. and we had ended up spending almost 40 bucks in cab fare!!! ouch!! we were so annoyed. so, it turns out that the syrian embassy is open only from 9:30 to 11am. 1.5 hours a day!!!! what kind of work week is that?!?!?!?!? arrrgghhh!!! so it looks like we’re still stuck here. hopefully tomorrow we’ll finally apply for the visa.


4 thoughts on “we’re never leaving turkey”

  1. So, does this mean that getting the letter wasn’t as hard to get as Lonely Planet made it out to be? Sucks you had to spend $40, but I guess that is just what happens while traveling.

  2. well, heres the tricky part. its actually not a letter of reccomendation. it’s just a form letter that says that the us embassy in istanbul will not issue reccomendations!! the letter says that the us embassy does not require any recommendations for people coming to the US, so it kindly asks other embassies not to ask this letter from Us citizens.

    so who knows if the syrian embassy will accept this. theres 3 options:

    1) it accepts this random form letter that absolutely anyone can get, even people who are not US citizens

    2) it knows that Us citizens can not get reccomendations, and does not actually require them… in which xase we wated hella time trying to get this stupid letter

    3) they just wont give us a visa.

    i guess we’ll find out tomorrow…

  3. oh yeah, one other thing… it’s not just the 40 bux… but the fact that initially we planned to stay in istanbul 3 days… now it looks like we’ll end up here 7. our daily spend is about 70 bux so thats about 280 bux extra right there too!!

  4. On the bright side… you can eat at your favorite restraunt again!!! 🙂 In all seriousness… I hope that this all gets sorted out for you, and that despite the hassle you are still having a good time…. or at least gathering great stories to add to “when I was a kid….” to tell your grand kids.

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