Sunday, 2 August 2009

Let The Engines Roll

Another chapter has begun for me, this time happening right at my own backyard.
What I'm trying to say is that.. I'm no longer in Russia nor Turkey. I have returned to Malaysia.

Hahahahaahahahaa and no, I'm not pulling your leg(s)!!!

I decided to go for my Housemanship since Tolga is going to the military. I mean, Mummy's alone (and she fell ill last month) so we figured it's the best time to be back for service. Uhhmmm.. I have stopped blogging for too long and needless to say, I miss it and miss reading everybody's.

Either ways, it's time for me to pack up and get on moving. I'm going to miss my exciting life globetrotting and writing about every new places we explored but I guess.. the only things I'll be exploring from now are patients' ulcers and inner organs. How exciting LOL

Don't fret, my friends. I'll always be around.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Hiatus Mode

I'm going off the line for a while. It's the stress of everything that has got to me and I need to keep a reality check. Tolga is very supportive, I have to say that if our love isn't strong enough.. we wouldn't have come this far but unfortunately I have to leave my blog for the time being. Though I've little to write nowadays..

I thank all of you for your loyalty, and I shall write again when the joyous feeling returns.


Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Two Of Us

Harvested from our cherry tree in the garden ;)

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Digital Grafitti

It's been a while since I wrote about my current stay here in Istanbul. I was really down and needed time for myself and Tolga, which helped because hospital takes up alot of my day. I often return home exhausted either from work or the heat.

I was going through some pictures and I came across the folder from santralIstanbul. I remember we enjoyed ourselves there especially with the interactive games. This place served as the power station in the Ottoman era, but now it consists of a modern art museum, an energy museum, an amphitheater, concert halls and a public library. It is somewhat like Moscow's WINZAVOD which we visited in the past.

Tolga and I miss Moscow when we talk about it, mostly because we had so much to do there. We explored every hole we could sneak into (I usually give in to his curiosities) and we were always up to something, somewhere. We like it here too but there are some differences which I don't really know how to explain. Anyways, here's the cool part in santralIstanbul which drove us nuts! LOL

The blank screen before we start "spraying" colours on it
Note the camera/light sensor at the bottom of the frame

The camera basically captures us and the light movement..
.. but the colours stay while we could still move around on the screen

Hehehehee didn't take us too long to attack each other

The entertainment is free and our monkey business was actually recorded. I'm not surprised if we are displayed in this exhibition elsewhere in the world next time. There were several tools apart from the flashlight; there were lasersticks, canister-lookalikes, "spray paints" and lightsabers! We tried every item in the dark room for every light effect. Cheap thrills. Hahahahaa we had so much fun ;)

I'm your worst Jedi nightmare :P

The lightsaber effects stole most of the limelight! No pun intended LOL

Some other screen devices/technology/all-you-can-try which excited us to the max.

The smoke graph? (I don't know what it's really called)
We lit a match and the grid follows the direction of the flame.. very cute

Bursting bubbles.. they really burst okay!

Tolga uses his head even *rofl*
I love this picture! We look like shadow puppets ;)

We all know what's a Turntable, right? But a Reactable? Oooohhh, I was really pleased to get my hands on the complicated yet so sophisticated machine. The Reactable is an electronic musical instrument which is super über cool! OMG. This is one of a kind invention that requires special knowledge to utilise it. We kinda figured out how it works but we could very well be wrong because the tunes sounded very hypnotic :P You can read more about the Reactable on Wikipedia.

The blocks are called tangibles representing unusual symbols and icons
and with the right combo.. it would trigger music notes and sound effects

The 4 geniuses from Music Technology Group who gave birth to the Reactable

santraIstanbul is highly recommended for everyone to visit!! ;)

Monday, 1 June 2009

Woes Of Work

"I show up same time as you so shut the fuck up"

I think I'm having some problems at work. I'm not as happy as I'd like to be and a couple of my colleagues irritate the shit out of me. If you ain't gonna teach me shit or help me in any way.. then leave me alone. Making fun of my Turkish language prolly makes him feel like a big hero.

Then there are others too. OMG. I'm so not in the mood to save lives talk about it.

Oooohhh why, why, why am I in such a dilemma.

Speaking in foreign tongue is already difficult and I'm no 5 year old absorbing water like sponge, I'm freaking 25 and going goo-goo-gaa-gaa isn't a pretty sight. Thank God my style fits it so others don't take me as a retard. I remain positive all this while telling myself (and being told) that everything will be okay. I don't know but it's really hard to see anything good doing what I do at the hospital, with the patients, asking help from left and right..

Russia was no easy task but here isn't all dandy either.

At least there are times like now, I don't feel good about anything at all. I don't write about them here because like I say before, I prefer remembering good times but once in a while, we need to keep bad ones for rainy days. Could be PMS matter like last month but if PMS gets be back to reality, it's not so bad huhhh.

I know most of the time I sound like a ladi-da having the time of my life and some of you prolly wonder what the hell am I really doing. Sometimes I wonder the same question.

Bloody hell. To the ones on my hit list right now, let me say :

If you're in my shoes, start a life as a yabanci in a yabanci-land and speak yabanci language. I bet you won't survive as long as I did, muthaaaa.. you'll lose your damn hair bald and as it is, you're already half bald. Whether you shoved me aside on purpose or not, you shouldn't have done that!!! :(

To the other idiot in blonde, fuck you. You may earn much more than I do but money isn't everything. Fuck you and your money talk. I'm happy with what I have. At least I'm lovable, you pig. Big show off.

My dear readers. All the "you" isn't referring to you, YOU. Unless.. seni sevmiyorum, evet, SEN.

Let the bad days be over.. please, please, please. I need my mojo back!

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Peepee Pilavi

Tall tales : "During and after the circumcision.. the adult folks like to say they will make peepee pilavi from "it". Hehehee pilav, you know. It's the rice and we will be scared. Eh, you Chinese eat everything. Don't laugh. Ours is only a joke" - Tolga.

For some reason, this weekend was spent attending once-in-a-life events. Yesterday we attended a wedding and God bless that the union will last a lifetime, and this evening, we attended a post-circumcision party. Hehehee don't start giggling just yet. It's a huge celebration and even larger scale in comparison to other occasions. Everyone who knows the members of the family, relatives or not, will always come to cheer.

Tolga says that nowadays, this sünnet practice is partly religious and partly for hygiene purposes. Some kids are circumcised shortly after birth, during childhood or at puberty. Hehehee there are professionals dick cutters circumcisers who are popular to call upon. One of the most well-known around here is Kemal Özkan. See he's even got a website so you can more or less guess how famous he is. Hahahaahaa a pro to the max, he has a list of 15,709 names which he recorded through the decades.

That's a load of foreskin LOL.

The star tonight is actually the grandson of Hatice (who comes fortnightly to clean the house). Hatice is a very nice lady, and like I said, everyone will come from far and wide to celebrate this rite of passage for the child. I'm neutral with this custom really. I read about ethical, psychological and legal considerations plus protests on infant circumcisions etc.. I don't see it's much of a debate to do it or not. Jesus' dick was cut. Jesus was circumcised too. Why make so much noise.

It's the family's glory to have a son to don the costume and hold the sceptre on the stage

Batuhan seated upright like a king :)
People who come will greet him, kiss him and pin money/gold on his coat

Check this out, a towering 7-layer cake!!
Want to get your dick cut now? It's nice! *rofl*

Batuhan's parents having a slow dance together..

This picture was taken off the photo which was printed for us already

What an eye-opener. No matter which religion, what race or mentality in today's society.. I agree that there are some perks to having a son. I'm not saying that we should choose one sex over another but it's somewhat the truth. But then again, when the time comes and you'll have a daughter only.. I don't think you'd think much about missing the circumcision. There'll always be invitations by other families ;)

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Wedding Witnesses

Hehehee not ourslahhhhh.

This evening, I got the opportunity to attend a Turkish marriage ceremony with Tolga and his family. Tolga's second cousin sister got married to a comedian. Seriously. Her husband-to-be is a known theatre artist and the guests from his side who showed up were quite a show, if you catch my drift LOL

Turkey is a Muslim country but they run on secular regime (unlike Malaysia). Weddings are carried out at the registry followed by a dinner after. We only went to the registry at
Kadiköy, not the reception. Oooohhhh, almost everyone I've met so far are lovely people. Funny folks. And I still blush whenever Tolga's mum introduces me as Tolga's fiance! You know, religious or customary practices are illegal here but in rural areas/villages, they do take place. Not in the city though. Here's the first 1/2 of what happens usually :)

At Kadiköy District Marriage Registry- the biggest joint in Istanbul

The hall is like an amphitheatre big enough to sit hundreds of audiences.. shocking isn't it?

The lady in the red robe is the marriage registrar,
Elif (the bride) and Naşit (the bridegroom)
with 2 witnesses on their left :)

"You may now kiss the bride"

When it's all over inside the auditorium,
everyone goes up and in queue to congratulate the newlyweds *sniffles*

And collect wedding sweets!! :)

Handmade by Elif's mum (some people make by themselves, some buy from shops)
The wedding sweets are really chocolate balls laced with silver and gold colours.. yums!

Hehehehee I got a handful ;)

This is the funniest wedding photo I've ever taken
If you notice.. no one is looking at the camera! My eyes are even closed! LOL

These are the photographers who make money out of other people's celebrations :P

We say "Mutluluklar dilerim!" in Turkish.
Sooooo.. this is a sneak preview to how ours will be. Stay tuned! ;)

Friday, 29 May 2009

Dusty Bulbs

We got a pair of mini chandeliers installed in our living room! They are super pretty!

Heheheee don't imagine the giganto ones in the palaces, please. It's a modest antique piece, with four arms bearing lights upwards. I'm not sure if they are made of brass or wrought iron. It is very old, therefore the colours are rugged and aged. Tolga and I can't take our eyes off the ceiling ever since LOL

Some pictures taken during the installation. Cheap thrills.

Taaaa-da!! :) :) :)

Okay.. I didn't put them up but it's no harm posing for a pic or two

This is the family's electrician (he's been of service for decades) handling our lights like a pro

Can't say the same about Tolga though! *rofl*

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

The Yabanci

I like my new nickname. Call me yabanci (pronounced as yaban-ji) meaning foreigner in Turkish.

Hahahahahaa yabanci, yabanci, yabanci. I like the sound of it.

Through much pain and sweat, running around from one department to another.. no thanks to redtapes and bureaucracy. Standardized procedures, strict protocols and whatnots.. let me say a big fuck you thank you and *middle finger* *thumbs up*. I hate paperworks. I hate queueing and I definitely hate the fear of authorities in these kind of places. You might even want to think twice before letting out a rip.

Here it is. My PR is granted :)

Don't underestimate this little booklet
Every yabanci (for all purpose) who makes long stay here should have one

I can't imagine if I'll have half the patience to make one for Tolga if we decide to move to Malaysia

Yours truly! ;)

Sorry.. better not post the numbers in public LOL

You know.. looking at the pictures here, I remember the time when I got my Ordinatura ID. The good ol' days in Moscow. And time passes by too quickly, huh. Exactly a year ago about this time.. we were preparing for our final exams and graduated the next month. The current 6th Year students are doing their time now.

Those days were good. Real good :)

Monday, 25 May 2009

Turkish Style

My colleague, Hakan made me a cuppa Turkish coffee after lunch. I've tried it once somewhere, sometime ago but I don't remember liking it. I only remember it was too strong and bitter. Maybe it was some other coffee.. but I definitely enjoyed it this time ;)

This brew is indeed a signature drink of Turkey. The portion is tiny, meant for small sips over a period of time. The history traces back to 15th and 16th century, chroniclers wrote that coffee beans originated from Yemen but the technique to making this drink was invented by the Turks.

And yes, the technique is rather interesting indeed. Hakan can't carry it out so well but I appreciate that he did LOL

Scooping coffee powder from the most famous brand - Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi

Hahahahaha it really looks like Hakan boiled me some shit to drink :P

This is crucial.. the uppermost layer when the coffee boils has to be laid into the cup

And the rest is filled after more boiling..
The link above explains more (I'm still trying to like this drink LOL)

It is a yummy cuppa Turkish Coffee! ;)

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Soapbox Sadness

We were looking forward to the 1st Red Bull Soapbox Race held in Istanbul for weeks but today was such a disappointment. I don't want to bitch much about the poor management for spectatorship and organisation of the whole venue. The event location was at Maçka adjacent to the public park. There were just too many people, we couldn't enjoy the show properly :(

I was trying to squeeze my way through the front to catch a better glimpse while Tolga was busy sneezing from pollen-allergy. Disastrous. The weather became hotter, then in addiction to the pushing crowd and on top of that imagine we were stuck in the narrow, almost non-existent walkway for anyone to go down further the slope. The viewers are so damn stupid not to budge.

Here are some pictures I managed to take. I certainly hope they would do better next year (if it's gonna be an annual thing).

Hahahahaa see the sign? No engine!

The route - Buradasiniz is the starting point

People like us who came for this race plus the people in the park

I got a free flag!! ;)

The opening ceremony with what else but an original Red Bull Soapbox

I couldn't snap any pictures of the passing car..

Total failure, lost my mojo LOL

Hahahahahaaa it wasn't all that bad like it sounds. We were pretty contented to witness what a soapbox race is about. I imagined that street kids make carts out of unused boxes, then race amongst each other. I think it could be true, how else would this game come about? In this Red Bull-sponsored challenged, the rules (like most races) are as follows:

- The car must have no motor
- The car must have at least 4 wheels
- The car may have to have some type of brakes
- The driver must wear a helmet
- A push at the top is allowed for extra speed

I couldn't take pictures of each individual cars because of the limited space. I didn't want to plaster myself to the fences looking desperate like a jailbird. Most of the contestants were creative, came up with quirky and some hilarious themes. Before they plunge themselves down the slope, they have to make a short performance. Hehehee Turkish folks can be quite funny. Other carts were just too big to be manuveured, they went crashing into the haystack.

Best view No.1

Best view No.2

Even better view on the big screen :P

Then we found a nice spot near the starting point

At least we could see something happening.. soooo pathetic LOL

OooOoOooof.. either get to the venue early or never again!

Here's the link to a Turkish site if any of you are interested to see the race. Tolga and I are both quite traumatised by this event LOL