Day 5 and the gas tester now says “There should be a cover on that, get one before you go to the visa test”.  I could scream.  Why didn’t he mention the need for a cover yesterday?

I have to have the car’s engine steam cleaned before I go back for a re-test of the gas system, so am in the Sanayi at 8.15am and half an hour later en route to the Market Place with a gleaming engine.

Someone steps off the pavement, I bang the horn and it sounds like a strangulated mouse.

The steam cleaning has clearly affected the horn, which is tested during the visa process, so I hit it frequently until it gets back to normal, startling other motorists and pedestrians in the process.

I am at the gas test station at 9.09am and, of course, the tester is nowhere to be seen.

However, I have the joy of parking at the head of the queue alongside others who are here for re-test.

In fact I recognise a couple of them from the gas system installers where I ended up yesterday. I am making new friends in the bowels of the gas test system.

When the tester finally arrives, just after 10am, I am first and pass.

However, my gas system is one of the oldest kind in which the gas tank is shaped like a tyre and fits in the well designed to hold the spare tyre.

The ‘hole’ in the middle of the gas tank (think doughnut) contains valves and other bits whose function is a mystery to me.

The tester now says “There should be a cover on that, get one before you go to the visa test”.  I could scream.  Why didn’t he mention the need for a cover yesterday?

Anyway from the test station you have to go to the Chamber of Mechanical Engineers’ Office (TMOBB) located on the first floor of the building at the end of bar street (above where the Divers’ Delight offices used to be).

There you hand in forms and car documents, pay 25TL and are issued with a gas test certificate valid for the next two years.

I am first there to have the secretary tell me “There is no-one here to sign the certificates at the moment.  He won’t be in until 1pm”.

I rant and rave and demand the phone number of her boss, phone him and disturb him in a meeting in Aydin.

He is sympathetic but says all he can do is try to get his assistant, the other authorised signatory, into the office before 1pm.

By this time other drivers have arrived and there are around a dozen of us in the office, one of whom demands the number of the assistant and gives him a call.  Someone else phones the boss again.

We are a protest movement in the making.  All fed up to the back teeth with the endless queuing that is an integral part of any bureaucratic process in Turkey.

By 10.45 spirits have fallen somewhat and we start to drift away.

I go to the Sanayi and the gas system man finds a cover that vaguely fits the hole in the middle of my gas tank.

Then I visit the downtown wing and return to the TMOBB office at 11.30 to find our phone calls worked and all the certificates are signed and awaiting collection.

Finally I can proceed to the main testing station on the road to Kemer.

And you will have to wait until tomorrow to find out how the gas-fired Kartal got on.

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