Stashing cash.

So you know how you had that one science teacher that, like, EVERYONE in the school knew kept vodka in the chemical cabinet? (Ma, have we ever discussed this? Literally EVERYONE knew there was vodka in the chemical cabinet, but thinking back no one ever saw it. Were we just a bunch of rabid little Erdoğans reinventing reality willy-nilly, or did that happen?) Turkey has its own open secret: most teachers here are illegal workers. True fact.

Few schools are willing to pay the employment tax on top of what a foreign teacher expects to make, and few teachers are willing to accept what the Turkish teachers make to buy into the system. So, every month, we get huge envelopes stuffed with cash.

Say you suddenly live alone, and you’ve got an apartment that’s theoretically accessible through the second floor back balcony, though, as Hannah keeps pointing out, doing so would require more organization and effort to make it worthwhile for a Mediterranean culture-bred thief. Sayyou’ve also been unwilling to put yourself through the tortuous system of opening a bank account here. What do you do?

If you’re Paul, you keep your money in the cereal box.

If you’re Z, you keep your money on top of the water tank in the bathroom.

If you’re Agent L, you divide it into piles and hide it in various places all over the apartment, places you think a thief might not look, and leave little bits of cash in places you think thieves would look, (underwear drawers, inside books, etc.)

This is not a recipe for disaster at all, by the way, and will NOT send you into a panic where for a whole afternoon you tear through the apartment looking for an envelope with 800 lira in it, because you distinctly remember folding it into the third from the bottom tea towel in the linen chest, but forgot to remember moving it two days later into the empty tampon box behind the full tampon box in the medicine chest.

Not at all.



This entry was posted in Ex-pat, Teaching ESL, Turkey and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Stashing cash.

  1. Alan says:

    . . the English (I do not speak for Scots, Welsh or Irish) call stuff that comes in brown envelopes a ‘bung’ – as in ‘Slip ‘im (or ‘er) a bung, Jim’, or ”e’s slipped me a bung or two in ‘is time.’ I had not given this a second thought until . . well, you know . . your safe deposit box thing.

  2. Another type of staching: After Vicki’s mother died, Vicki spent days leafing through every book in the house because she knew the books were her mother’s solution to ward off the next Great Depression. Hummm, how does that work with a kindle?

  3. As an alternative, and just a thought here from your international banking friend, how about put some of it in a safe place? Are there no multinational banks in Turkey in which you can deposit Lira and then do an inter-account transfer to a USD account? If not, the tampon thing sounds like a close no, no it doesn’t.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s