I didn’t realise how much I have come to rely on and expect that moving around Europe would be an easy, smooth, and familiar process until I touched down in Istanbul for the IAMCR conference starting tomorrow. The first sign of impending disturbance? I didn’t receive one or more welcoming SMSes from different telephone companies telling me what their mobile phone rates were and how much it would cost to call, text, or send and receive data. Moreover, this reminded me that since it is not part of the EU, the rates charged by these companies would not be regulated by EU law. Things got more disconcerting when I got to the end of the queue with my passport and I was told that I needed a visa in my British passport. So that’s why the line for visas was so long! And of course it was no good my raiding my cookie jar full of euros for travelling–I’ve got a pocket full of lira.
Of course this is hardly chaos, and were I going a bit further east or south none of this would have caught me by surprise, but I seem to be a little bit ahead of the authorities in welcoming Turkey into the European Union–at least in my head. Time to recalibrate and look for somewhere to get a decent meal.