Here’s a first. I’ve never been yelled at for being Chinese, but today, it happened. I should’ve know after all those years of getting letters and scholarship offers from the Chinese Student Association of America and having the MOST common last name in the whole entire world(because of the Chinese) that one day, it WOULD happen.
Here is how it went down. After making a whirl wind trip to Ankara to get permission from the American Embassy to get permission to get married Enes and I returned to Antalya to do the list of things we had to do here to get approval from the govt. here in the city. One thing on my list of things to do was have my birth certificate and passport translated and notarized. Enes and I headed out to get everything taken care of. We went to the translation and notarization office, Enes explained everything and they said to come back at 2:00pm to pick up the translation and they would notarize it. So at about 1:36pm in the afternoon, I had a little fender bender due to being cornered by about 3 cars and trying to protect the car I was in (no huge damage, just a little scratch), but in the process, I did lose Enes because he had to go with the people whose car I scratched to have it looked at so I had to go back to get my birth certificate and passport translations alone. No problem, or so I thought.
I figured, we were there earlier in the day, they all know who I am, if I have problems talking, they’ll figure it out because I’ve already been here once today. I get to the office and go pick up the translated documents. They tell me to go in this other room to get it notarized. I talk to a girl that I saw early that morning and she tells me who to talk to, but I realized it’s a man that wasn’t there that morning. But the label on his desk says “NOTAR” (notary), so I figure it’s a no brainer. I’ll just hand him the documents and he knows what to do. :)
So I walk up and hand him the pieces of paper. He looks straight down at my birth certificate and then for all I understood, all “H-E-double hockey sticks” broke loose. He starts yelling at me. I have NO idea what he is saying, he’s talking super fast and I’m catching maybe 3 words in the 2 minute tirade. After he’s done, I ask him in Turkish if there is a problem and if he needed something else? (what else was I supposed to do) :) He threw my papers to the side and then stared straight through me like I wasn’t there. Hmm… what to do? I stood there for like 2 minutes waiting for something to happen, staring at my translated documents that he just threw down. Everybody in the office including the girl that had just directed me to him, acted like he didn’t just yell at me and nothing happened. Everyone just went about their business as usual.
So, eventually I went and sat down. I’ll just wait. I was trying to think of someone to call that could help me because Enes had left his phone at home that day and I couldn’t get ahold of him since he was with the people who’s car I scratched. Ahh…don’t cry Dania. Don’t cry. I sat there for a second with my head in my hands and then the same guy that just yelled at me comes into the waiting area where I was sitting.. “Dania Lee” “Dania Lee” Dania Lee”he says… But this time, he is super happy and all smiley. I’m thinking “great, I have the manic depressive Notar”…. So I raise my hand, “that’s me”.. he says, Gel! Gel! (Come! Come!) and takes me back to his desk… then he points at my last name and asks if I’m Chinese..(side note, I’m thinking do I look Chinese?) I tell him no, I’m an American and he says..oh, I looked at your last name and thought you were Chinese….then he starts laughing really loud, stamps all my papers and sends me on my way…
To celebrate the completion of our list of things to do.... I made Chinese food too. :)
(another side note)
The car that I scratched, Enes went to the car dealership and they said it would be 600 TL to fix it and by the time Enes was done, it was 28 TL because the repairman found out that Enes was from his city… all goes to show..its WHO you know here or rather MEET along the way….:)