Thursday, 26 January 2012
I came across an old purse at the back of a dusty drawer and, along with several 5,000TL coins, I found two jeton. In the days before mobiles, we had an excuse for not calling home. At least an hour had to be set aside for the purpose. You couldn't just dial the number and chat, you had to book your call at the Post Office. The present Bodrum PTT is in pretty much the same position as the old one and it was usually heaving, quite often with queues spilling out of the door. Once you got to the desk, you'd hand over the number for the operator to dial and then wait until told which phone booth to go to. A good handful of jetons then had to be fed into the slot as you talked; not easy as they are grooved and will only go in one way. Any attempt to do this was doomed to failure unless completely sober. Quite often, after all the jetons had all disappeared, the call was abruptly cut off.
Home phones were also in short supply. It took over a year on the waiting list before there was any hope of being connected up. In fact, phone lines became a commodity sold on the open market. There was always someone in a hurry for a line who was willing to pay several times the face value. Which probably explains why, on return to Bodrum after twelve years, we found we had four lines in our name until our hasty trip to the Telekom office.