Expatria · Istanbul

WolfWoman and the Four Bears go to the Visa Office

WolfWoman awoke in the loving arms of her Mate, but she was uneasy. There was a feeling in the pit of her stomach telling her the days to come would be strange, but she did not know why. Today was the day when she and her Mate would finally get started on the legal residence process in their village, a suburb of Istanbul, and there was a legitimate fear in her heart that if any problems should arise both she and her Mate would end up in an infamous Turkish Prison for non-compliance with visa regulations. And yet, even this fear did not match the level of dread in her gut. “Something strange is coming,” she thought to herself. “

After cuddles and coffee, WolfWoman and Mate were ready to meet their guides to the Visa Office. They went to the office and arrived promptly at 1030am, the scheduled rendezvous. The hour came and went, and it was not until 1130 when the two made their way to the bank with the first and smallest of the Bears, Dilko Bear, who was to help them deposit the required amount for the 9 months stay permit. At the bank the first of the upsets began. The day was getting later and later, and WolfWoman was sure there was a cutoff hour for visa applications, but the men paid her no heed. Then, when attempting to place the dollar amounts in their accounts it turned out that WolfWoman and her Mate needed new dollar accounts. Up the stairs, down the stairs, here and there to find the magician who would open the account. Found! Mate’s account no problem. WolfWoman’s regular account was non-existent, even though she had a bank book and ATM card with pin code in her hands! WolfWoman had to fill out paperwork that took her thirty minutes the first time once more and her paperwork had to be reprocessed. Past noon, and what should have been an easy ten minutes at the bank turned into 45 minutes.

Dilko Bear assured WolfWoman that she should not fret, there were some Very Important Bears on their way to escort both her and her Mate to the Visa Office to expedite their applications. They were the Secret Service Bear, who used to work for the Turkish Secret Service and comes from a very famous family of generals, Police Commissioner Bear, and a few other assorted Bears whose roles were never clear to me. 1230 and finally we were on our way to the car to go to the visa office, surrounded by the Bears.

Sometimes WolfWoman knows things, she gets a sense or an image pops in her head, from where it comes she doesn’t know, but it usually has to do with someone around her. This is heightened if she has not imbibed alcohol in some time, if she is on or near her moonblood days, or during certain times of the year when contact with the Spirit World is made easier by the alignment of the planets. However, there is one thing for which WolfWoman always has a sense and that is the presence of Guns. Her stomach turns, a hamster in his cage running, faster and faster. It had been so long since she felt it, it was not until she saw the Guns that she made the connection.

All of the Bears were carrying Guns. Some were plainclothes police, so they said, some were not and yet they all had Guns. Big guns, black and silver. Frightening and unnatural. The Bears and the Guns were going with them. She smiled her bravest smile, Bears smell fear you know, and suppressed the bile rising in her throat. Just a few hours and I never have to see them, she thought. The Guns will be gone.

WolfWoman, her Mate and the Bears arrived at the Visa Office around 130, too long spent in the gridlock of Istanbul traffic, and then wandered aimlessly with the Police Bear escorts through dingy and crowded halls of the edifice. The walls strewn with images of Attaturk and Turkish flags, every corner a mark of Turkish nationalistic identity. The Bears gave WolfWoman and Mate applications to fill out and they were left in the cafeteria while the Bears went to pull strings to fast-track their visas. In the cafeteria, WolfWoman’s stomach seized up. As she looked around she saw Guns everywhere. Black and silver. Wooden with gold inlaid handles. Black. Machine Guns. It was the policeman’s canteen, but many of the Gun-toters were not in uniform. Her mind began to rush with Gun imagery, she began to think of how many people those guns have threatened or killed even. She could not breathe. She kept her eyes on the applications, she kept her eyes averted to the outside.

An hour went by before Secret Service Bear and Police Commissioner Bear returned. 230 pm. “Quickly, quickly,” they growled. WolfWoman and her Mate rushed with their coats and off they went. The Visa Office was a madhouse. Walls lined with tired people, confusion reigned supreme. A number was to be taken, but the officer in charge would not give them one, “The numbers are finished for today!” Both Bears took out their identification, the officer apologised profusely and gave them a number. The Bears told WolfWoman and her Mate to wait and they went behind the counter to talk to the Big Boss. Ten minutes later, the Mate’s paperwork was being processed and stamped. He signed the documents and it was WolfWoman’s turn. Signed, stamped. Finished. All the while, WolfWoman is getting a Turkish history lesson from Secret Service Bear, who is telling her about the Ottomans and how they were the grandest civilisation in history, and the most just.

Upstairs, downstairs and they need to pay for their visas. But the office is closed! The office closed at 330, they made it there at 336. Yes, it only took one hour to process the paperwork once they began, but to miss the cutoff point by 6 minutes meant WolfWoman and her Mate would need to return. Secret Service Bear told them he would bring them back the next day, much to WolfWoman’s trepidation. “The guns!” She thought frantically to herself.

The next day, WolfWoman and her Mate met Secret Service Bear and Bearded Bear along with a new addition, a Russian Jackal, to go back to the Visa Office. It was the Jackal that truly frightened WolfWoman, and it was the Jackal that made WolfWoman think that she had misjudged the Bears. She began to think that maybe they were all Jackals. Something was not right in the situation. She felt the presence of Guns in the car, sick to her stomach, and fighting images of a Gun accidentally discharging into her side. Battling visions of confrontations with Guns drawn. Doing her best to breathe away her own violent encounter with a Gun. She thought she would pass out. Her Mate was angry with her because he did not want to go back to the office and the Bears said they would take care of it for them, but WolfWoman said “Are you crazy?!? Strangers take our passports!?!? No fucking way!!!” WolfWoman forced him to agree and he was upset, he had hoped to spend his day off in a better way.

At the Visa complex, WolfWoman, Mate and Secret Service Bear went inside to pay for their visas, which turned out to be a hugely exorbitant amount of money and if WolfWoman and her Mate had not gone with the Bears they would have had to come back a third time to make a simple payment! WolfWoman was right again and everyone was glad they had gone along! To the ATM, back again. Then upstairs to pay once more, the documents taken and a reciept given in turn. Secret Service Bear talking to WolfWoman about Turkish history and his own past, she is smiling and nodding and praying for her and her Mate to get home safely.

On the way home! Praise the Moon, they were on the way home. WolfWoman squished between her Mate and the Chechnyan Jackal, uncomfortable on so many levels. All of a sudden the car pulls into a Migros parking lot. “We have a meeting at Burger King,” Secret Service Bear tells them in his broken English. “We will not be long time, you to also come inside.” Ooooookay.

WolfWoman is beginning to think that these men are not businessmen, they are not policemen. They are, instead, members of Turkish and Russian Mafia. She is thinking about the Sopranos and how they meet in strange places to talk business. A
business meeting in a Burger King? WolfWoman is looking very closely at the men out of the corner of her eyes and she asks her Mate what he thinks. He has no opinion, until she tells him how in Asia many times the police are like the private army of Mafias. They give them guns, cars, protection in exchange for money. Although the police are a government body, the higher echelons of the government are not able to control the phenomenon, and certainly they cannot pay them as the Mafia can. WolfWoman realises that their escorts have not been benign Bears there to help and expedite. The Bears are, instead, all of them Jackals! WolfWoman understood her discomfort. The many stories that did not merge, the contradictions in behaviour. Jackals, all! And WolfWoman and her mate had been riding around with them! “Oh Moon! Get us home safely,” WolfWoman prayed.

And She did. WolfWoman and her Mate arrived home safely, visa documents in hand and not too much worse for wear. They bade farewell to the Jackals and thanked them for their help. WolfWoman prayed that would be their last encounter, but one never knows. WolfWoman had a terrible headache and a tummy full of acid. Even so, the pair ended up going to see Saw III, even though WolfWoman did not feel well on the way, and once the movie began she realised why it was appropriate and cathartic that they happened upon such a film. It was a day surrounded by violent beings and Saw III gave a much needed release of negative energy. Saw III reminded them that they should be content with what they have, they should face their fears in order to conquer them, they should let go of the past, they should love and take care of each other as best they can, and never take their lives and their love for granted. They should keep their eyes towards God’s gaze and they would always be protected.

Thus ended WolfWoman and her Mate’s two day adventure with Jackals, the Turkish Mafia and the Visa Office.


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